I'm much less picky now, but my breakfasts still tend toward the simple side. Toast, bagels, eggs-- the usual. Except when I venture out to the flea market for a Dough donut (their blood orange donuts are divine and well worth the walk) or I head out for brunch with friends.
I had a very similar dish to this one at James Restaurant during a day-after-my-birthday brunch with my good friend Yana, and every bite felt like a treat. Then, I saw this restaurant on Beantown Baker, and I just couldn't resist. Jen said this recipe elevates french toast to a new level, and she was certainly correct.
While I doubt anyone could stay healthy if they had this french toast for breakfast every morning, it is absolutely delicious. The bread seemed almost caramelized on the outside, and there was just the right amount of sweetness from the raspberry and cream cheese mixture in every bite.
Have someone make this for you on your birthday or make it for yourself. Then pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy.
Raspberry Filled Brioche French Toast
recipe adapted from Beantown Baker and The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Note: It is very important that your milk and eggs are at room temperature before the melted butter is added. Otherwise, the butter will form in lumps.
1 loaf brioche bread (I used Peter Reinhart's brioche bread--stay tuned!), sliced about 1 inch thick into 8 slices
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup whole milk (room temperature)
1 large egg (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Microwave the cream cheese for 10 seconds, until just softened. Mix with mashed raspberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste, and add more sugar until the desired sweetness is reached. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Arrange the bread on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake until slightly dry, about 15 minutes.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over four slices of bread, leaving a 1/3 inch border at the edges. Lightly press the remaining slices of bread over the top to make 4 complete sandwiches.
Melt two tablespoons of butter, and mix it together with the milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, and two tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth. Pour the batter into a large, shallow dish.
Melt one more tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to brown. Meanwhile, slide two sandwiches into the batter and soak both sides, about 1 minute per side.
Remove the bread from the batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into the dish. Lay directly in a hot skillet. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer the french toast to the wire rack and keep warm in the oven until all pieces are prepared.
Serve warm, with extra raspberries on top (and a bit of powdered sugar and whipped cream if you're feeling fancy).