In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Post 108 ~ "The Purest" French Toast

Growing up, my mom would sometimes declare a certain night "French Toast and Sausage" night. This would typically be when summer was drawing toward autumn and the air had a crispness in it, or better yet, in the darkest days of February, when the sun starts setting at 4pm and the world has gone quiet and frozen.

In any case, it meant that the kitchen would fill with the smell of browning butter, warm sage, maple syrup - all the smells of a dinner that was surely better as a reward at the end of a day than as a sluggish "well-I'm-obviously-not-getting-anything-done-today" starter. When my mom makes French toast, it's not an over-the-top, flavored, sugary-sweet dish. "It's all about the eggs and the bread," she'd say, beating eggs in a bowl as butter browned on a long, rectangular skillet. "Eggs, bread, and maple syrup. It should be unadulterated."

In Singapore, it may be September, but it hardly means the weather is cooler. In fact, the temps have been consistently in the 90s with a "real feel" temperature sticking (pun intended) around 103 all week. I have survived these days in a manner not unlike a CW vampire, hissing at the touch of the sun and ducking into shade spots, seeking, perhaps, the cold and darkness of the comforting winter months.

But that doesn't mean I'm not still craving autumnal foods. In fact, with the ubiquity of social media (hello, Pinterest, and your obsession with all things pumpkin), reminders of autumn foods are impossible to escape, even on the equator. So this morning, I set about making my version of "Purest" French toast. Minus a few key things, like sagey sausage and maple syrup. The simplicity of this dish is what enabled me to justify it as a breakfast food. Here's what you'll need:

  • French bread
  • Eggs
  • Condensed milk
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
I was cooking for one, and made a small portion. I started a stick-free skillet heating on med-high with some butter. I sliced three slices about one inch thick off of a b√Ętard I bought at the Swiss bakery downstairs. It's always a little stale when I get it (pretty impossible to keep a crusty bread like that fresh in 90% humidity!) so it's perfect toasting bread. I put about a tablespoon and a half of condensed milk into a bowl when I mixed up a new jug of creamer this morning (more on that another time!) and added about a teaspoon of regular milk. I cracked an egg into it and mixed it all together.

I dunked the bread slices into the mixture, making sure it had a few seconds to soak in, then onto the hot pan it went with a sizzle! I let it brown on one side while I made coffee, then added a bit more butter so I could flip them over. I flipped them all a few times, pressing down lightly on the centers and sides of the pieces so they would brown nicely. I put them on a plate, dusted them ever-so-lightly with cinnamon (this is, after all, supposed to be PUREST) and added a drizzle of honey over the top of the whole thing.

Lovely, warm, nostalgic and pure. A perfect not-too-heavy breakfast that has sated a bit of my desire for autumnal food - and has made me that much more excited for winter dinners to come over break!

Yours in the love of food and nostalgia,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.