It's no lie that French toast is one of our favourite things to make in the kitchen. Spring has just sprung and the berries are beginning to make more of an appearance at the market. The creative ideas are endless and we really wanted to share this blueberry beauty.
We like to use challah or brioche and recommend leaving it out to dry overnight. Stale bread actually makes for amazing French toast as it absorbs more of the egg mixture than freshly baked bread yet it prevents it from getting soggy. In fact, the French term is pain perdu or "lost bread" as it is a way to salvage stale or "lost" bread.
We like to dollop some crème fraîche on top to add some freshness but if you like things to be a little richer, mascarpone or cream work too.
The great thing about French toast is how versatile it is, you can substitute or add several things in the crumble mixture to give it your own personal twist!
Speculoos biscuits originate from the Netherlands and Belgium and are also often used in Northern French cooking. It's a caramelised, brown biscuit that is traditionally eaten around Christmas time and adds that delicious brown sugar taste to desserts.
6-8 slices of challah bread or brioche bread
Vanilla Crème Fraîche
1 tsp vanilla paste
200 grams crème fraîche
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp butter
8 crushed lotus speculoos biscuits
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 160°C.
To make the vanilla crème fraîche, simply whisk 1 tsp of vanilla paste to 200g of crème fraîche and transfer to fridge.
To make the blueberry "filling", add the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan on low heat for about 5-7 minutes and stir. Add sugar to taste as the sweetness of fresh blueberries will vary.
To make the speculoos crumble, heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and add butter. Once it melts, add the oats and flaked almonds. Keep them moving around with a spatula until toasted. Add the flour, sugar, and crushed speculoos biscuits and continue to mix the crumble around until well combined and toasted.
Whisk all egg mixture ingredients except for the honey together in a large bowl.
Microwave the honey for 10-20 seconds and whisk it into the egg mixture as you pour so that it incorporates evenly.
Slice your bread into 1 inch slices and dip one at a time into the egg mixture and coat thoroughly allowing about 15 seconds soaking time.
Pre-heat a seasoned skillet or a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add some butter to the pan and once melted, add your bread soaked in the egg mixture to the pan. The pan should be hot enough so that you hear a sizzle as soon as the bread hits the pan. Allow the bread to get golden brown (approx.1-2 minutes) on each side and using tongs, you can also cook the sides of the bread for best results.
Once you have cooked all your french toast slices, transfer them to a wire rack on a baking tray and put them in your pre-heated oven for about 5 minutes before serving. This will ensure it is served hot and will also help crisp up the edges.
To serve, arrange the french toast on a plate, add a couple dollops of the cold vanilla crème fraîche, the warm blueberry "filling", then top with a generous amount of the crunchy speculoos crumble.