September 25th 2011
LET THE BREAD TAKE THE GLORY
A few days ago I had the opportunity of cooking at a surprise dinner for my pastors daughter and out of all the fabulous meals I served the hit of the night seemed to be the my “Pain Perdu avec Mousse Chocolat et crème” aka French Toast with Chocolate mousse.
I am not sure if I mentioned in my first post that I am passionate about good food and cooking it…but hate making desserts!! However, I can eat the seven seas and endless galaxies of cheesecake, madeleines and any baked thing that has layers of butter icing or cream. (Don’t worry I’m still going to be skinny… I do it in moderation *insert straight face and halo smiley*)
I think it is because of the whole precision and calculated steps you have to take and I don’t have that patience. I mean 100 grams is a 100 grams 102 grams and your cake is a mess. Not with cooking! Too much salt… add more tomatoes without salt…. Something definitely has to work… but baking… cest la fin!
Ok rant over.
So how did my desert become the hit wonder?
Well for one I have a friend indeed in my girl Motto aka Motunrayo Akinseye aka Licious and her trusty partner Bimpe aka Ms. B, helped my in that department. And yes it was a flawless Mousse! Light as air yet dense enough to massage the plain of your taste buds and fondling with them beyond sexually and borders on the near spiritual, yes all this drama is necessary. It was that good.
Ok… to my post
My Pain Perdu…
Pain Perdu literally translates to Lost Bread. And lost bread because it refers to stale bread that ordinarily could have been thrown away or “lost” but salvaged and used for a new dish and contrary to what you may assume. French toast or Pain Perdu isn’t a hundred percent French. From what I have gathered it was named that by Henry VI (and yes I see you going OMG! Fuh real?! Me too…) But in France however, it’s a homely style dessert that you can find in almost any bistro and would be served with butter that also swings to the posh side when served with delectable mousses and really exotic ice-cream such a spice bread ice-cream or calvados cream for example. It’s popular across the world even up to Asia. People make savoury versions where it’s eaten with mayo, ketchup or sausages.
My inspiration to make this dessert came from watching Masterchef Australia and saw the simplicity but yet the rich flavour content. So I decided, this was it! I put my own spin on the flavour in mine… I wanted a big punch of sweet to come through. So whilst shopping I picked up some butterscotch, almond and condensed milk flavouring as well. I made this for my best mate and to him French toast is the ultimate. But after eating mine he was convinced heaven could be enjoyed on earth before you see God. LOL!
Here are the ingredients and this how I made it
Serves 2-4 (depending on the greed)
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
400ml of milk full fat please but skimmed would be fine too
3 pieces of cinnamon bark or a good roll
Vanilla beans If you have/afford it one pod scraped and all of it into the milk
1tsp each of Butterscotch, Almond and condesned milk flavourings and vanilla if you don’t have the pods
Good Bread loaf unsliced. I recommend those ones made with butter like a Brioche. Slice the loaf into thick slices about 2inches
Syrup of choice
Whipped Cream if you like
First you need to place the milk in a saucepan with the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod scraped and the stems in and bring just to the boil.
Whilst the milk is getting to a boil, separate the eggs and keep the whites in your freezer. You can defrost them and whip them up for pancake or something else later.
Mix the egg yolks and the sugar together till just incorporated. No need for beating it till it doubles in size or anything of that sort.
When the milk has come to the boil just take it off the heat, don’t turn off… add a bit to the egg yolk mixture whisking vigorously. Quickly turn the egg yolk and hot milk mixture into the remaining milk. Return to a medium low heat and stir slowly for about 5mins, transfer to a bowl then chill over ice or transfer straight to the freezer to chill.
That is essentially custard or a crème anglaise
Take your bread slices and soak in the custard
Dip it round the custard say twice on each side and preferably in a non stick pan add a small knob of butter and fry each side till nicely browned and stack about 2 per person and serve with a knob of butter. At the dinner I served it with lashings of milk chocolate syrup but I would strongly recommend dark chocolate though, cuts across the sweetness in my view. Or just simply with some good ole maple syrup.
Please feel free to indulge and pipe mounds of whipped cream or serve with fresh fruit like Berries, which have tart or bananas.
P:S i apologize for the poor picture as i had to use my friends blackberry to take the shot as my fuji died… promise to have a better pic up soon. Also, please feel free to try and take some pictures and send to the email@example.com