Photograph by Ell.
Creme Brûlée French Toast
This is just as lovely and as sweet as it looks. Made from brioche, the bread is creamy and rich, the crackling toffee is bittersweet and the berries are imperative to balance the dish. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day so dig in!
What you'll need:
1 loaf brioche (make your own using my recipe, here)
1 1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Mixed berries, as many as you want!
2/3 cup caster sugar
4 tablespoons hot water
What to do:
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale. Add the milk, cream, salt and vanilla and whisk well.
Slice the loaf of brioche into 6 big, even slices (2cm or 3cm slices is great). I accounted for two slices per person but it depends how big your slices are and how much you want to eat. You can always refrigerate any leftover brioche and custard to keep it for another morning.
Dip one slice into the egg mixture and push it under to soak. When bubbles rise to the surface it means the custard/egg mix is getting right into the bread. Once the bubbles stop, remove the slice and put it onto a plate. Do this for all the slices.
Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and put the oven on about 130C. In a frypan, heat a little oil over a medium-low heat. Put one slice in and cook on each side for 4-5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. The slice should be firm but still spring back when touched. Put the cooked slices on the tray and keep them in the oven to stay warm.
Once all slices are cooked, it's time to make the toffee! Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the toffee mix begins to sizzle around the edges and boil. Once this begins, stop stirring and keep an eye on it! The toffee will begin to colour and you'll need to remove it from heat when it's a light golden shade because the heat will keep colouring it as it cools. You may find that any sugar on the side of the pan begins to colour and burn before your actual toffee does - that's fine! This toffee will probably run down the sides and into into the rest of your toffee, bringing colour and flavour. If this happens, just take your toffee off the heat as soon as the majority of it has been stained. Let it cool just a little while you remove the french toast (and turn off the oven) and get your berries ready.
Spread about two spoonfuls of toffee onto each slice and work quickly to push it right out to the edges. The amount of toffee you put on depends on your slices - you want to get a nice even layer of toffee that isn't too thick. Push any puddles of toffee over the side and once set, pop your berries on top and dig in!