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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

French Toast With a Twist

This recipe was given to me many years ago by our wonderful friend Rebecca Brooks when we bought our Cape Cod bed and breakfast. It is a guest favorite and one of the few non-savory breakfasts we serve.

Plummer's Sugar House
This mildly sweet toast is made with Challah bread which is an egg bread that some people call brioche. You can buy it at your local grocery store or bakery or use home baked. It is sweetened with orange juice and does not have any sugar added. Some of our guests prefer it with nothing else on it but many do love the fact that we serve pure Vermont maple syrup, which we have sent down from Plummer’s Sugar House in Grafton, Vermont.

Macadamia Nut French Toast
serves 8 - 10

8 eggs
2/3  cup milk
1-1/3 cup OJ
2 tsps. vanilla
dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 stick butter
8 to 10 slices Challah bread
Approx. 1 cup Macadamia nuts, chopped coarsely

The night before serving, beat eggs together and then mix in next 4 ingredients.  Slice the bread into 1 inch slices, and arrange in a pan just large enough to fit the slices.  (Often, a 9 X 14 is good for this.   It’s OK to use 2 smaller pans.)  Pour the mixture over the slices, turn once to coat, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Preheat oven to 375.  Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt the butter just until it is soft. Brush the butter onto the foil-covered sheet making sure the surface is well covered.  (You can also use Pam)  Arrange the bread slices on the cookie sheet so they don’t touch each other. Spoon the chopped nuts evenly on each piece.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the nuts start to brown.  Serve at once with maple syrup.

When the toast is first removed from the oven, it will be nice and puffy. If it sits very long prior to serving, it will settle down a bit. However, it is still delicious. 

Notes: The above are the basic proportions. This recipe can easily be doubled, dependent on how many slices of toast you want to make.  It is very rich, so one slice per person is often all that is needed.  When you prepare the bread the night before, you want to have enough liquid to allow the bread slices to become soaked, so after you pour it over the bread, there still should be some liquid covering the bottom of the pan you soak it in. The next morning, it should all be absorbed. You will get a feel for it after you make it a few times.   

Jan Preus, Innkeeper, Chef, and Artist in Residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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