To wrap up our gab fest, we did breakfast/brunch. So, K used it as an excuse to do a homemade version of a stuffed french toast from a local restaurant that we l.o.v.e. (I think we owe M’s sister for turning us onto Sabrina’s Cafe a while back – they have amazing brunch with monthly rotating specials…which are now available at all times of day. Dangerous.)
One of their standards is a stuffed challah french toast that is to die for. And, I must say, we did an excellent job of recreating it at home. Great brunch treat. (As K is gearing up for a larger brunch in the near future, all excuses to do dry runs of recipes are allowed. Keep your eyes peeled for future brunch developments.)
Stuffed Challah French Toast for 2
2 thick slices challah bread (K made a loaf of challah using her snazzy
new new-to-her-from-a-garage-sale breadmaker)
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
1-2 Tbs. milk
1/4 cup milk (more or less depending on your preference)
Vanilla syrup (see recipe below)
After cream cheese has softened, combine with powdered sugar and milk, blending with an electric mixer until ingredients are combined and cream cheese has been sufficiently whipped. At this point, be sure the cream cheese mixture is a consistency you like and has the amount of sweetness you like – since it’s the basis of the dish, you want to make sure it’s good.
Spread cream cheese mixture thickly on each piece of bread. Then, place banana slices on one piece of bread, securing the slices firmly in the cream cheese so they do not fall out of your french toast during the cooking process. Then, place other piece of cream cheese-d bread on top so your creation looks like a sandwich. Cut diagonally so you have two large pieces.
On a plate or in a shallow dish, whisk together egg, milk and cinnamon. Dip each piece into this mixture, allowing it to be absorbed by the challah so the bread is moist after cooking. Then, cook on well-oiled or buttered griddle pan, flipping once, until both sides are delicious-looking golden brown.
At this point, add vanilla syrup. Make this syrup ahead of time – combine equal parts of sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook until sugar is entirely absorbed and water begins to cook away. Be careful not to let the mixture get too hot or begin to brown too much. After desired consistency is reached, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. (If you have a vanilla bean, use that instead; flavors will be better. But most of us don’t have vanilla beans.)