Saturday, September 11, 2010

Raspberries & Cream Stuffed French Toast

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I've been awful this week with my blog... because I've been so swamped with things. After living in the suburbs for a few months, my husband couldn't take it anymore (and deep down, neither could I). This week, we've been balancing our time between city and suburb, so life has been a little hectic to say the least. Being in culinary school three days out of the week with my share of homework along with private catering and hosting culinary events on the weekend, while spending quality time with my little 4 month old can be quite a challenge... let alone finding time to blog! Needless to say, I haven't been able to post as often as I'd like lately. While we're settling back into the city (yay!!), I'm anxious to get accustomed to my temporary kitchen this coming week. Thankfully, I was able to enjoy making breakfast and made some Raspberries & Cream Stuffed French Toast. Mmmm... a delicious start to the day and weekend!


The other day, I spotted a beautiful challah loaf that I had to get my hands on. It was a huge loaf so I had plenty leftover. One of my favorite uses for leftover challah is french toast! Rather than making the standard french toast, I was in the mood to jazz it up with some fresh raspberries I got on sale. I combined cream cheese, sugar and some fresh berries to create a creamy, fruity filling for the toast. For the french toast batter, a mixture of egg, butter, milk, vanilla, sugar, salt and flour as whisked together to create a nice crust. Once the toast was stuffed to the gills, they took a brief dip in the batter and browned up in a buttered skillet. It's a delicious recipe where the french toast is crispy on the outside yet has a custard like texture on the inside, mixed with a fruity cream filling. It's heavenly to start the day, especially on a weekend!

Raspberries & Cream Stuffed French Toast
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Raspberry Cream Filling:
4 ounces (1/2 a package) of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
4-5 slices day old challah bread, cut into 3/4 inch thickness

French Toast Batter:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + extra for frying
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt


For the filling: In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and raspberries with a fork, mashing the berries to release the juices and color.

Carefully cut a slit into the side of each slice of bread to form a small pocket. Be careful not to cut through to the edges. Spoon filling into pocket of each bread slice and set aside.

Heat a non stick skillet (or cast iron) over medium heat for 5 minutes to get nice and hot.

Meanwhile, beat the egg lightly in a shallow pan or pie plate. Whisk in the melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Once incorporated, continue by adding the flour and salt. Continue to whisk until smooth; set aside.

Place the stuffed bread into the batter, allowing it to soak for half a minute or so on each side. Remove the soaked bread from the mixture and allow the excess batter to drip off. Repeat this process for the remaining slices of bread.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter in the hot skillet. Carefully place the battered bread into the buttered skillet and cook until golden brown on one side. Flip to cook the other side to a golden brown. Continue to brown the other slices of battered bread making sure to add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan for each new batch.

Serve immediately with a pat of butter, syrup, fresh berries and/or powdered sugar.

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