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


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