5 Days of French Toast Memories – Day 5

The Show Stopper

For me…my ultimate “marriage made in heaven” food combination is green fig, bacon and gorgonzola or camembert. My little heart pumps custard at just the thought of this crossing my lips.

There is this gorgeous restaurant in Humansdorp, Le Chameleon, and let me say, if you are ever in the area, you have to make a stop here! And the best part…on their menu, a version of my show stopper makes a rather sexy appearance. They do this French Toast without the cheese, but I am sure if I begged and pleaded and offered up my first born they will accommodate my simple request. I think its time for a revisit….however, let’s get straight into my recipe.

Inspiration for the day: Enjoy being you, and give others the respect they deserve by allowing them to be themselves (Taken from my friend, Fiona Black)

French Toast with crispy Bacon, Green Fig (cheese optional)

2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
¼ French loaf cut into slices
Bacon cut into lardons
2 – 3 Green Figs in preserve, cut into 8ths
Gorgonzola (optional)
Maple Syrup
Almonds

Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla essence
Fry of bacon until crispy
Soak the French loaf slices in the milk and egg mixture
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry off the bread
Use green figs, syrup and almonds as garnish as you build you Show Stopper

5 Days of French Toast Memories – Day 4

The American Flight

It was mother’s day, 2005, I was on the flight to New York City, the amazing airhostess’s from SAA was offering breakfast, now, not being a bacon & egg kind of girl, the second option was French Toast…I thought wow…lucky me…well, not so lucky me….this is how I was introduced to this French Toast..I opened up my little breakfast container, starving and ready to indulge in my French Toast Happiness, and what did I see…scrambled eggs. My little heart sunk to the bottom of my tummy. SAA’s version of French Toast went something like this…

Nice thick slice of French Toast, crispy bacon, scrambled eggs and a nice healthy drizzle of syrup. I didn’t know what to do with what was in front of me…after contemplating a few options, I decided that I would try it, and surprisingly it was really good. I redid this French Toast, leaving off the syrup as I made it for Justin, but feel free to add it…the eggs and sweetness from the syrup do work!

Inspiration for today…Every great shit starts with a smile

Scrambled Egg French Toast

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 baguette (I used a rosemary and onion baguette)
3 slices of shoulder bacon
seasoning
golden syrup (optional)
butter
Whisk together 2 eggs and milk
Fry off bacon until crispy
Break the remaining eggs into a bowl and beat lightly.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, place a teaspoon of butter in the pan and add the lightly beaten eggs, mix slowly until scrambled eggs are to your liking
Soak the bread in the egg mixture for about 15 – 20 seconds on each side, I really like to get the bread soggy.
Fry off until golden brown over medium heat

Tomorrow…The Show Stopper

5 Days of French Toast Memories – Day 3

The Tease

The memory that brought this recipe on, I was just fresh out of high school, myself, my mom, a good friend Lianna, and her mom went one Saturday morning to the RedBerry Farm in George, and had such a blast picking strawberries, you don’t have to take everything you pick, but we did. We went home, belly’s full of strawberries, and packets of strawberries, ready for my Dad to WOW us with ideas of what we could all do with our treasure.

The best part about this recipe is just how diverse it is. I used strawberries simply because they are slowly making a proper appearance again, and I absolutely love these little balls of red, juicy, sexy happiness. I shared this with my good friend Chris-Mari, over wine, chit chat and laughter….exactly how food should be enjoyed!!

The common garden strawberry that we use is actually a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. I love how it can be utilized in so many different ways, from something as simple as Strawberries dipped in Chocolate for a romantic night or a Strawberry and Chocolate salad dressing, preserves, used fresh or frozen, pie filling, ice cream, and of course mixing with Chantilly cream to fill my French Toast.

If you, for some reason, don’t like strawberries, you can use blue berries, or kiwi fruit, cherries, chocolate, pomegranates, grilled peaches….the list is endless! Be creative!

Inspiration of the Day: Don’t let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game

French Toast stuffed with Strawberry Chantilly Cream

2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 drops vanilla essence
4 thick slices of brioche
1 punnet strawberries
250ml fresh cream
3 tsp castor sugar

Whisk together the eggs and milk
Whisk Cream with sugar and vanilla essence to make Chantilly Cream, add some sliced strawberries to cream.
Cut a slit into the thick slice of brioche, and fill with cream and strawberry mixture
Soak the brioche in the eggy mixture and fry off until golden brown on both sides.
Serve with a nice dollop of the Chantilly & strawberry mixture, and a drizzle of honey (or chocolate, if you have time, make a decadent strawberry compote which will add so much great dimension to this simple dish)

For the Brioche, I used Gordon Ramsey’s recipe, (www.gordonramsay.com)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup (150ml) tepid milk
2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for dusting
3 ½ cups bread flour
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, beaten

1) Whisk the yeast into the milk with a teaspoon of sugar and set aside until it starts to froth.

2) Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl set on a damp cloth to hold it steady. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs and then mix in the remaining sugar. Make a well in the center then pour in the yeasty milk and all but 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg. Mix to a dough and shape into a ball with your hands.

3) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and has an elastic consistency. Place the dough ball in an oiled large bowl and turn the dough to coat it with oil. “Proof” the dough by covering the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.

4) Punch down the dough, then knead until smooth. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about a 1/8 inch (3mm) thickness. Using a 2 inch (5cm) cutter, press out 40-48 rounds, rerolling if necessary. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Tomorrow…The American Flight French Toast

5 Days of French Toast Memories – Day 2

The Favourite

This is a play on the French Toast on the menu at Kingswood Golf Estate. I love “matches made in heaven” and for me, caramelized banana, bacon and candied pecan nuts are just that…the most strongest memory I have of this French Toast…

January 2010, a long hard season had just passed, I was beyond exhausted, averaging at about 18 – 20 hours a day, pushing myself, and my staff… we were just coming out of that busy season period and things were slowing down, but not quite slow just yet, my trainee was outside setting up my station on the 9th Tee and I was in the kitchen, an order came in, and I got into it, my boss walked in and in true style was pushing my buttons, the more I asked him to just wait, the harder he pushed…as patient as I am, after the 5th time I asked him to stop, I lost it, I finished the French Toast order, called the waiter which was followed by a full blown screaming match that erupted between the two of us. So much so, the pro shop girl came running in, she saw immediately that it was not a good time…that day I walked out. I walked out on the one thing I loved the most in the world…later that day, when both of us had calmed down, and were ready to talk, we both apologised…I went back to my kitchen the next day after a good afternoon rest.

That day, I walked away with 2 very important lessons learnt… firstly, we all have a breaking point where we burn ourselves out, and secondly, never give up on your dream, my heart has never, in my 28 years of existence, felt so broken as when I realised that I walked out on my passion…

These beautiful medley of flavour always remind me of the lessons I learnt that day…along with how fortunate I am to be able to be following my passion, living my dream…and how far I have come in not only my career, but as well as my personal life…

Today’s Inspiration: Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely

French Toast with Bacon, Caramelized Banana and Candied Pecan Nuts, topped with Fudge Ice Cream
(makes 4 slices)

3 egg
1 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
4 slices of Brioche
3 slices of shoulder bacon
Fudge Ice cream
1 banana sliced in two
half a handful of pecan nuts
¼ cup sugar

Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla essence
Heat the sugar in a pan until just melted, placed the bananas and pecan nuts in the hot sugar, cover the fruit with the melted sugar until you have a nice caramelized crust forms over it. Remove and set aside to cool and harden
Fry off bacon until crispy
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat
Soak the bread in the egg mixture for about 15 – 20 seconds on each side, I really like to get the bread soggy.
Fry off until golden brown.
Plate, and serve with a nice dollop of ice cream over the top!

Next on the list of 5 Days of French Toast…The Tease French Toast

5 Days of French Toast Memories

I have been looking for a new challenge to do, I have been given a few suggestions, and even a suggestion of drawing again, but right now my time is a little limited. Keeping in true “Ang style”, I started working on this challenge in a rather busy week, but I know I can keep it up…

So let’s get to it…

My motivation for today is: The Key to Life is to have Faith…and have Fun

So to kick off this 5 Days of French Toast Memories started with The Classic

Now lets be honest, this “eggy bread” is all about personal choices…and I will be showing different ways the bring back great memories…

There would be weekend mornings I would get a chance to go in a little later than my normal 6:00am start…and on those mornings, I would pop in to see Mom and Dad, and to add to the great little visit, Dad would always whip up French Toast for me. Mom always called me (and still does!!!) “Daddy’s little brat” because he enjoyed making me a quick breakfast. Still to today, if I go home, he knows…French Toast this way will definitely be on the breakfast cards….and the best part is that it’s so easy, and you don’t have much mess!

French Toast with Cinnamon Sugar
(makes about 4 slices)

2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
4 slices of bread of choice (white, brown, French loaf, baguette, brioche, challah etc)
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp white sugar
½ tsp ground ginger

Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla essence
Mix together the cinnamon, sugar and ginger
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat
The part where we slightly disagree is whether to use butter or oil to fry off the bread. Dad likes oil, I like to mix butter with the olive oil just to have the two flavors come through.

Soak the bread in the egg mixture for about 15 – 20 seconds on each side, I really like to get the bread soggy.
Fry off until golden brown.
Remove from pan, and while still hot, sprinkle the sugar mixture over.

There you go…quick and easy…no mess no fuss.

Tomorrow…I shall be doing The Favorite French Toast