This is one of several western dishes that my mother made for us as kids. Instead of drowning our French Toast in syrup, she would sprinkle coarse sugar on the bread, so as it cooked on the grill, the sugar caramelised and pooled creating a sticky, sweet and crunchy coating that we found addictive. I use vanilla paste in this recipe as I feel it provides a gentler, richer flavour than vanilla extract. For an extra special touch, pulse some sugar cubes with lemon zest in your food processor and sprinkle over the French Toast before serving.
12 – Large eggs
½ cup – Heavy cream
¼ cup – Sugar
1 tsp – Vanilla bean paste or 1½ tsp – Vanilla extract
½ tsp – Ground cardamom
1 stick – Unsalted butter, melted
1 loaf – Day-old brioche or challah bread sliced 3/4-inch thick (about 8 to 10 slices)
¾ cup – Sugar (for cooking)
* Whisk the eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste or extract, cardamom and salt together in a large bowl.
* Pool a little melted butter onto a serving platter or plates (the melted butter prevents the caramelised sugar from sticking to the plates) and set aside.
* Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Submerge one slice of bread in egg mixture, turning the bread over to coat, and letting it get to the same softness as that of a wet sponge.
* Drizzle a little melted butter on the griddle, turn heat down to medium and place the soaked bread on the griddle.
* Sprinkle 2 tbsp of sugar in an even layer on top of the bread. Once the bottom side is browned, flip over and sprinkle 2 tsp sugar over the top.
* Once the bottom is browned, flip again and wait until the sugar is browned, before transferring to a platter or individual plate. Repeat with remaining bread slices and serve.
(This recipe serves 6 to 8 people)
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