Sometimes I think about a dish obsessively. It doesn’t have to be anything special or complicated; it’s usually something random and most likely, related to breakfast. Take for instance, this caramelized French toast. I must have thought about it for 3 days straight before I finally figured it out and made it.
I wanted to create a French toast that had what I think is the best part of creme brûlée: the caramelized sugar crust. I thought about it and thought about it, but I couldn’t figure it out: how would I create a crispy, sugary crust while cooking the eggy insides?
The crisp crust on creme brûlée is created by caramelizing sugar, so I figured if I dipped the bread into eggs, then sugar, then cooked it, I would essentially get the same effect. I ran the idea past Mike, who told me it would burn into a crazy sugary mess. What would be better, he said, would be mixing together sugar and butter. I wasn’t convinced, so I decided to Google it and lo and behold, right there on bonappetit.com, there’s a recipe for caramelized French toast.
I made sticks instead of slices just cause I wanted more caramelized deliciousness. These French toast sticks were just what I wanted: a crisp, shattering sugar shell giving way to eggy bread goodness. To think! I didn’t have to spend days thinking about French toast…
Lesson learned: Google is your friend, my friends. Use it.
Caramelized French Toast Recipe adapted from bonappetit.com
yield: 6 french toast sticks
- 5 inch piece of baguette, cut into 6 sticks
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
Mix the butter and brown sugar in a bowl until thoroughly blended. Set aside. Whisk the egg, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
In a non-stick skillet, melt a bit of the brown sugar butter mixture over medium heat. Swirl the pan around so the sugar mixture is evenly distributed. Dip the baguette sticks 1 at a time in the egg mixture to coat and then place in the pan. Cook until the bottoms are deep brown and caramelized. Keep a close eye on the sticks so the sugar doesn’t burn. When the first side is brown and caramelized, melt more brown-sugar in the pan and turn the French toast sticks. Repeat until all four sizes are caramelized. Enjoy hot!