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Maple cream stuffed french toast with smashed raspberry

Chrissy Dupé

Oddly enough, French toast didn’t actually originate in France.

It’s a centuries-old recipe designed to use up stale bread. But like so many things, it probably just sounded better with the word ‘French’ in front of it. Let’s be honest though, I’d probably still order ‘stale bread dipped in egg and milk and fried in butter’ if it was on a menu.

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Pain perdu (translation – ‘lost bread’) is definitely one of my all time favourite breakfasts. And frankly, it’s just not complete without a glossy stream of maple syrup and a big dollop of cream.

Crusty, dense (or stale) bread is great for this recipe because it soaks up the egg milk mixture really well and holds it’s structure in the pan. I like to use ciabatta, but you can use anything you like. Pane di casa is lovely too, or sourdough. 

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I love this time of year. I’ve been getting out and enjoying all the sunshine, walking with my little mate Boris, and checking out the markets for all the beautiful summer fruit that’s coming into season.

Boris!

Boris!

Bozza is seven months old now. Growing up so fast! He goes by many names – Borrence of Arabia, Boris Becker, Bosnich (like soccer player, Mark Bosnich), Borrie, Bosley (Charlie’s Angels), Chuck Borris. The list goes on. It’s a wonder he knows who we’re talking about when we call him.

Fresh summer berries with whipped cream is an unbeatable combination, and there are loads of juicy red raspberries around at the moment. Plus they’re often on sale, which is a bonus because they’re usually pretty expensive.

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So I decided to make a summer-inspired french toast stack, complete with generous dollops of freshly whipped maple cream and chopped pecans, then smothered in smashed raspberries. Because yum.

Raspberries are so pretty and vibrant and always look good on the plate. And as it turns out, they’re even better all smashed up. Everyone loves a good smashed avocado on toast, so why not smashed raspberry? The sweet version.

The pecans add a lovely crunch alongside the sweet, velvety maple cream, the tart raspberries and the golden, buttery bread.

It came out looking a bit like an epic french toast layer cake, and it tasted every bit as good. Voila! Maple cream stuffed french toast with smashed raspberry.

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Do yourself a favour and whip up this delicious stack of goodness up on the weekend. A warning though: you will want to pick it up and take a bite like it’s a club sandwich. No judgement here! Just make sure you have lots of napkins on hand. 

Maple cream stuffed french toast with smashed raspberry

Prep time: 10
Cook time: 10
Serves: 4
Note: You will need to allow 2 hours for the maple cream to chill before whipping.

Ingredients

Maple cream

1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup double (or ‘heavy’) cream
1 cup crème fraîche

French toast

12 slices ciabatta loaf or other crusty bread
4 large eggs
1/2 cup full cream milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp unsalted butter, for frying
Splash of olive oil, for frying
2 punnets fresh raspberries, gently squished
1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

For the maple cream

Mix the crème fraîche and cream together in a bowl to combine.

Bring maple syrup to a low boil in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat and reduce by around half until the mixture thickens slightly.

Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream/crème fraîche mixture, bit by bit. Once all cream is incorporated, refrigerate for around 2 hours.

For the french toast

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and add the milk and vanilla bean paste. Whisk till well combined.

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Arrange the bread slices in a single layer in a large, shallow container and pour the mixture over them, turning them a few times to coat the bread completely. Cover and place into the fridge for around 20 minutes to allow the bread to soak up all the custard.

Once the bread has soaked and the maple cream is chilled, heat butter and olive in two large frying pans or skillets over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add soaked bread. Cook on each side for around 4 minutes or until golden brown.

While toast is cooking, put the maple cream in a chilled bowl and whisk with chilled beaters until soft peaks form.

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Remove the french toast from the pan once ready and layer the slices, three pieces per plate – first bread, then a layer of whipped maple cream, a scattering of pecans and repeat.

Smother the top layer of bread with the smashed raspberries. Dust with a little icing sugar and top with a couple of pecans to serve.

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Chrissy Dupé

A born and bred Canberran, Chrissy works as a corporate communications manager for a government department, and spends pretty much all her spare time cooking and eating with family and friends. When she’s not making a delicious mess, you can find her belting out an 80s power ballad or three (Total Eclipse anyone?) at {insert nearest karaoke bar here}, complete with interpretive dance-off and air punch combo. Chrissy loves brunch (and dumplings), but suffers from food envy – one of the most significant first world problems facing our society today. Join Chrissy in her quest to eat small and have it all at littlefoodblog.com. More about the Author

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