French toast is a great brunch classic. It's so easy to make, but if it's done right it can be a real luxury. The key to good French toast shouldn't surprise you - it's all about using the right bread. Avoid using pre-sliced white bread, which truth be told, is good for for pretty much nothing. What you want to use for French toast is either brioche, or a good quality egg bread such a challah. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even make your own bread. I posted a recipe for braided Easter bread on the Foodnetwork.ca site that would be perfect for making French toast with. The other secret to great, restaurant-style French toast is to slice the bread really thick, about one inch. This way you can get a nice brown crust on the bread and still have a beautiful soft center.
The strawberry coulis in this recipe is super simple to make. It has just two ingredients: strawberries and sugar. You simply cook the strawberries for a few minutes and then purée. The coulis make a perfect accompaniment to all sorts of desserts. It's a great way to add a homemade touch to any store-bought cake or ice cream.
Prep time: 8 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves 4
4 thick slices of brioche
1 pint fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1 sprig fresh mint (optional)
icing sugar, for garnish
1. Quarter all the strawberries, then set half of them aside for garnishing the finished toast. Put the remaining strawberries in a pot with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water. Let simmer for 10 minutes and then purée.
2. While the strawberries are make the egg-wash and toast the bread. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and cinnamon. Dip each piece of bread in the eggwash, make sure it is thoroughly coated on both sides, and then remove from the bowl, allowing the access eggwash to drip off. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the bread until golden of each side, about 2 minutes per side.
*Having your pan at the right heat will help you get a perfect crust. You want the pan just hot enough that the bread sizzles in the pan. If the pan gets to hot, the toast will burn before a nice golden crust has the chance to form.
To serve: Pour 3 tablespoons of strawberry coulis in the center of each plate. Lay one piece of toast on top of the coulis and then garnish with fresh strawberries, mint and icing sugar.