This is a great french toast recipe for using up any leftover bread ends that you have lying around your kitchen. We serve this in SLICE every Friday (#frenchtoastfriday) and we use all of our sourdough ends mixed in with brioche but it can be used with pretty much any soft bread that will easily soak up the decadent mixture.
For the topping you can use any stewed or fresh berries of your choice. We tend to use both as there is a nice contrast with the fresh strawberries / blueberries and the warm stewed plums and raspberries. This topped with mascarpone and toasted walnuts is simply a breakfast to die for, add crispy bacon into the mix and sure you’re absolutely winning.
– 1 large loaf crusty sourdough, cut up into small pieces, mixed with a handful of any other bread ends
– 10 eggs
– 300g soft brown sugar
– 400ml milk
– 400ml cream
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 pack mixed frozen berries
– Fresh berries (whatever is in season)
– 1 tub mascarpone
1. Pre-heat your oven to 160°.
2. Lightly beat the eggs with the cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar until the sugar has dissolved slightly.
3. Line a 9 x 13 inch tin with parchment paper.
4. Cut all of the bread ends into small pieces about 1.5 inch in width.
5. Place all of the chopped up bread pieces into the tin and pour the wet mixture over it.
6. Push down slightly so all of the bread ends are wet from the mixture.
7. Leave to rest in the fridge for one hour so all of the flavours can combine.
8. Cover the tin with tinfoil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes @ 160°.
9. While this is cooking in the oven, stew your berries with three tablespoons of brown sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla in a saucepan, stirring at all times. Let them stew right down until there are only a couple of tablespoons of liquid left in the bottom of the pan. Lightly toast your walnuts in the oven.
10. Check your french toast, you will know when it’s done as it should be baked through with no liquid coming out when you press the top of the bake.
11. When the bake has cooled you can cut it into desired portions (we get 12 in the cafe) top with the warm stewed berries, mascarpone, walnuts and crispy bacon (optional).
– All bread is different, to ensure your bake turns out just right make sure there is enough of the wet mixture to totally soak all of the bread, the bake will turn out too dry if this is not done correctly.
– If the mixture is too dry when you have poured over the wet ingredients simply make up a smaller batch and add that to it. You want it as moist as possible when it comes out of the oven.
Ray O’Neill is the owner of two award winning Dublin based cafes; SLICE in Stoneybatter and The Cake Cafe in Dublin 8. He is a Ballymaloe trained chef and it is the Ballymaloe ethos that transpires to his menus in both cafes. He has created some exciting weekly specials in his cafes such as #durtydonutthursday with nostalgic summer ice-cream flavoured doughnuts (think tangle twister and 99’s specials) and #frenchtoastfriday which is the recipe supplied.