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Stan’s French Toast

Saturday, 18 August, 2012

This is an attempt to recall my most successful recipe ever, which was served for a time at several brunch spots around the foodie hot-spot Louisville, Kentucky. It is irresponsible to recommend something I have not fully tested, so regard the following as notes. Again I warn, if you are looking for a nice, healthful meal for your family, look elsewhere.

This makes five or six servings of four triangles of toast.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or full-fat milk
  • 3 oz or two shots rum
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • half-loaf commercially prepared, sliced, day-old egg bread or well-dried white bread (It should be quite stiff)
  • at least an inch of vegetable or peanut oil at 375 degrees (proper deep-frying, like the commercial preparation of french fried potatoes preferred.)
  • fresh whipped cream (if you bring out something like Cool Whip, I will stab you with this fork I swear to god.)
  • raspberry or blackcurrant puree (or the jam or jelly of your choice) or
  • maple syrup

Optional garnish: ground cinnamon, clove and/or or cocoa, powdered sugar 

Get your oil hot. Turn on the Fry Daddy or the pan or whatever.

Dump your eggs, cream, rum and vanilla in an over sized bowl and beat the hell out of it. It is the right consistency when it is about 40-50% foam by volume. Let it settle for at least five minutes during the following.

Remove your commercially prepared, sliced loaf of bread as a single unit.

Discard two end pieces on either side. Split the loaf into two towers, standing upright.

Remove, with a proper bread knife, the crust from all four sides of each tower. Do not crush the bread while holding it steady. Yes, everything. Cut the remaining squares diagonally. You should end up with about twenty crust-free triangles of bread from each tower. Yes, that’s a lot of waste.

Oh right, this is for home preparation. Prep only half the bread. Or hell I don’t know maybe you’re having a hangover party and you should make double the egg mixture.

The cooking is as follows:

  • Drop a bread triangle into the egg mixture, a beat
  • Immediately flip it back into the mixture, a beat
  • Then immediately into the oil. You can do one with each hand with practice.

That part of the operation should take no more then eight seconds.

During the four-minute or so cooking time prep eightish-inch plates with a bath of puree or syrup. If you want to be fancy sprinkle some appropriate seasoning into the syrup.

Flip the toast about three minutes in. These will grow at least 30% in size with cooking.

They are done when both sides are caramelized about 30% or the classic light, golden brown with lots of eggy background. Four minutes, five, something like that. Remove from the fat and let drain onto a plate. If you are doing several servings at once, tilt the plate so the excess oil pools. There won’t be much, honestly.

Plate on the bath of syrup or puree, four slices with the tips pointing up, stacked like falling dominoes. Sprinkle with whatever floats your boat. Top with a heaping Tbsp of whipped cream.

In a commercial environment, the toast would go under a brazier for about thirty seconds to brown. I’ve never done anything like that at home and never got complaints.

The classic service was on a bath of raspberry or blueberry puree, well strained, sprinkled with cinnamon, topped with meringue and then the entire plate got a few good shakes of powdered sugar. Today I would add the cinnamon and sugar before plating for a cleaner presentation. Serve with three rashers of bacon.

My home version was on a bath of maple syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar mixed, and topped with whipped cream if available or simply without about nine times out of ten.

Serve with a heavy breakfasty meat. Bacon is best with puree. Sausage with maple syrup.


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