Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Blueberry french toast and the new year

Happy New Year to everyone! Once again it's the time of year when you need to concentrate when writing the date, as it's impossible to get the year right. It's so very ingrained just writing 2012. I don't know at what point in the new year you finally start getting it right, but it seems like it's right before you need to learn to write yet another new year. 

This year I decided to start the new year with a delicious breakfast. Well, it was more like brunch, as it wasn't exactly morning anymore when I finally dragged myself out of bed. I don't usually drink much (well, any...) and I was again reminded why. I just don't like that achy and nauseous feeling you get afterwards, so why bother. This New Years Eve I did feel like I needed it though. Lately, life has just painfully reminded that most things in life don't last and that you should enjoy the things that really make you happy. Like good food. So, to start the new year off in style, why not try blueberry french toast. The recipe is from Allrecipes, and I have modified it slightly to fit with the amount of ingredients I had access to. Also, the original recipe suggested to soak the bread in the egg and milk mixture over night, but I had no room in my fridge, so I just made it in the morning and popped into the oven immediately.

Blueberry French Toast (serves 4):
6 thick slices of white bread
100 g cream cheese
100 g blueberries
7 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp maple syrup 

1/2 cup sugar (I used light muscovado)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
100 g blueberries

The howto:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cut the bread into cubes, and place half in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with blueberries and cubes of cream cheese (I used a spoon to drop the cream cheese in small spoonfuls over the toast). Top with the rest of the bread. Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and maple syrup and pour over the bread. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes.

While the French toast is baking, prepare the syrup. Add sugar, water and cornstarch into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Gently cook for 4-5 minutes, until the syrup has lightly thickened, and add blueberries. Let simmer on low heat for about 10 more minutes until the blueberries burst. Let cool slightly and serve on top of the French toast.
The verdict:
I think this was the first time I have made oven baked French toast, and I have pinned this recipe ages ago, but haven't gotten around to making it until now. And I'm very sorry it took me this long, because this was so delicious. I used a basic white loaf of bread, and it worked really well. The cream cheese brings a lovely soft creaminess to the dish.

I didn't go for quite the full 3 tbsp of maple syrup, which I think was nice as the blueberry syrup is quite sweet. The syrup would probably look a bit prettier if you would use caster sugar instead of brown, but I like the more intense taste of muscovado sugar so I decided looks be damned. The syrup was really easy to make and turned out really good. I'm not sure if you really need the cornstarch, as you can just cook the syrup for a bit longer to make it a bit thicker. All in all, this was a really great breakfast, and I will definitely make it again, maybe in the summer with raspberries. Or rhubarb and a handful of white chocolate chips. Maybe bananas and caramel. I bet the chocolate cream cheese would work great with bananas as well. Or replacing the cream cheese with nutella. And again, my imagination is running wild...

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