i made french toast today, mostly because i was nostalgic and missing home. my mum used to make us french toast on the weekends. slices of dawn bread ( i hadn't discovered wholemeal then) soaked briefly in a mixture of eggs whisked with milk and a bit of sugar. she'd fry it in her non-stick pan that she had reserved specifically for 'our' frying. the cook didn't get to use non-stick pans simply because he couldn't grasp that metal spoons scratch away the teflon. she was generous with the butter and would let the toast shallow fry until the edges would go a dark brown and caramelise slightly. i woke up dreaming the taste of mum's french toast and decided to make my own.
the problem is though, that i rarely ever have white bread around. what would have been really nice is a creamy coloured buttery brioche but neither o nor i were inclined to go buy some. so wholemeal bread it had to be. i was pretty secure in my ability to jazz up wholemeal bread. and jazz it up i did.
here is what you will need to make the french toast - two eggs, a hundred ml of milk, a couple of drops of vanilla and a tablespoon of caster sugar. whisk all of them together. slice the bread very thick and soak briefly in the egg mixture on both sides. meanwhile heat a pan with a walnut sized knob of butter. slide in the toast when the butter froths slightly. do watch the heat as butter burns very quickly. let the toast fry for at least three to four minutes or until the edges are deep brown and caramelising. flip over to the other side to do the same.
meanwhile in another small sauce pan put in the juice of one orange, some orange zest, two tablespoons of sugar and a shot glass full of apricot brandy (or contrieau). bring to a boil and simmer till it thickens slightly.
to serve, put the french toast on a plate, drizzle liberally with the orange and apricot brandy syrup and dust with icing sugar. i have to say that the wholemeal toast added nuttiness and a rather robust texture which white toast doesn't. and the orange and zest added a freshness and welcome sharpness.