This dish is the slam dunk of the Christmas Brunch menu. From the outside it is just another traditional French toast dish. But one bite into the flaky and delicate brioche toast and you know you are eating something special. Rich and creamy eggnog starts the batter for the bread. I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract for a sweet and spicy touch. After the toast is crisp and cooked through, it is topped with an eggnog maple syrup and a dab of cinnamon butter. Positively decadent without the crazy calories. Your breakfast guests will be talking about this one long after your meal.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
Eggnog French Toast
2 medium brioche (a French bread found in traditional bakeries)
2 1/4 cups reduced fat eggnog
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp dried nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
Eggnog Maple Syrup
1 cup reduced fat eggnog
1/2 cup good maple syrup
1 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
- I prefer to make the side components for this dish first (or the day before) so that I can focus on the French toast and make sure it’s perfect. To make the Eggnog Maple Syrup, put the eggnog and syrup into a saucepan. Whisk together and heat the mixture until it just starts to bubble. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a separate small container and add it to the eggnog. Bring the mix to a boil, whisking well the entire time, and remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, stir, and set aside to cool. It can be refrigerated overnight and warmed in the microwave right before serving.
- To make the butter, whip the butter, cinnamon, and all spice together with a spatula or hand mixer until everything is combined in the butter. Use a spatula to put the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Form the butter into a log (or you can put it into molds if you have it) and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving so that it melts easily on the French toast.
- And now, for the French toast. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
- Whisk all of the ingredients except for the bread together in a large bowl. Slice the brioche into thick slices, about 1 inch thick. You can decide if you want long slices (like mine pictured) or small, thick pieces. For smaller pieces, cut the loaf in half one way first before slicing.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add a dab of butter or cooking spray to the pan. When it’s nice and warm, begin to dip each piece of brioche into the batter. Let the bread soak up the batter and then hold each piece above the bowl so that excess can drip off. Lay each piece into the pan, making sure that you don’t over crowd it. Between 3 and 4 pieces is usually a good start. Cook 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway in between, until each side is crispy and golden brown. Move the French toast onto a cookie sheet and loosely cover with foil. Place in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining pieces. Use two pans to expedite the process. Serve the French toast with a slice of cinnamon butter and the syrup on the side. I garnished with some pomegranate to add some color to the dish.