At the weekends and especially on Sundays Elix and I like to treat ourselves and any friends who are staying, to a nice breakfast – in our house we have the view that cereal is boring and only for weekdays! Usually these breakfasts, or brunches if we have had a late night, involve poached eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, thick-cut toast, marmite, scrambled eggs, peanut butter and all those lovely things. As a special treat I love to make Gwyneth Paltrow’s French Toast from her book Notes from my Kitchen Table. Iv made it so many times i can do it with my eyes closed now and I thought I would share the recipe.
Before I start, I know there are haters out there who dont think GP should have brought out a cookbook…..I disagree The book has so many lovely recipes – when I cooked her cheesy stuffed burgers for Kirsty one night for dinner, Kirsty said it was her favourite meal iv cooked! Winner! There are lots of lovely fish dishes especially Indian Spiced Tuna and Teriyaki Salmon as well as lots of brunches and sweets.
Anyway, the recipe is Challah French Toast which GP serves with banana, maple syrup and icing sugar. I like to have mixed berries, banana and agave nectar, Elix likes berries and honey and when I made this for my pal Laura she had golden syrup. So really put whatever you fancy on top – nuts, nutella, creme freche etc. GP also uses an actual vanilla pod – these are pretty pricey and not readily available in dear old Toots so we stick with a couple drops of vanilla extract.
For 4 people – whisk 2 eggs with 250ml of milk and add the vanilla extract (or, if you are posh, vanilla seeds). Dip slices of brioche or bread (thick slices of a crunchy white loaf work well) into the mixture until fully coated. Melt some butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan and add the coated bread. Sprinkle the top of the bread with brown sugar (GP uses granulated but i like the golden caramelisation that brown sugar gives best). After a couple of minutes the underside of the bread will be slightly crispy so turn it over and fry the other side. Sprinkle the cooked side with a bit more sugar and cook for another 2 minutes or so. We like the bread best when the edges are a little crispy and the top is golden brown.
Serve with whatever topping you wish – mine below is with strawberries, blueberries, banana and a drizzle of agave nectar. Enjoy!