Last Sunday morning I was lying in bed trying to decide what to have for my breakfast. I was craving french toast, but wanted to amp up the volume and change it up a bit so I hit upon that old British classic, bread and butter pudding. What could be better than lovely custardy french toast slathered in even more, lovely vanilla custard. Part breakfast part dessert; I am not ashamed to admit that I ate the whole thing over the course of the day whilst watching episodes of Columbo on Netflix. I’m not sure if I should be rather ashamed that I am turning into my Nan, but I am not. It was a lovely way to spend the end of the weekend on a cold rainy day. Next time I might add a few berries or some Nutella to mix it up.
1 1/2 loaves of bread (Morning toast bread from Paris Baguette)
300ml of cream
300ml of full fat milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of sugar
Half a stick of butter (for frying)
6 egg yolks
75g white sugar
25g of flour
4 teaspoons of corn flour / cornstarch (They sell it in all Korean supermarkets, it’s got a picture of corn on the front)
500ml of milk
1 tablespoon of Vanilla syrup
A few drops of vanilla extract (you can use the extract, the syrup or a vanilla pod)
Cut your loaf into 3/4 of an inch thick slices. I made mine using a fresh loaf but if you let it go stale for a day I am told it’s even better. In a large bowl beat together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla until mixed together. Heat your pan to a low/medium temperature and throw in a knob of butter. Dip a slice of bread into the custard mixture, let it soak up those juices, then turn it over to do the other side and throw it into the frying pan. Depending on the size of your frying pan you will be able to cook 2-3 slices at a time. After a few minutes it should be golden brown on the bottom side. Flip it over and do the other side for a few more minutes. Making sure that the custard has set in the middle, remove from the pan and cook the remaining slices. When all of your french toast is made, cut into triangles and arrange in your dish. Then make the lovely custard.
To make the custard whisk your egg yolks and egg with the sugar until it has become a very pale yellow. Whisk in the flour and corn flour until it has combined then set aside. Heat the milk and vanilla on a low heat until it has just started to boil then take it off the heat and whisk for 30 seconds. Slowly mix the hot milk into the yolk and flour mixture until it has combined then pour it into a saucepan. Put the custard on a very low heat and whisk it continuously until it begins to thicken. This will happen all at once so make sure you keep an eye on it or it will curdle. Once it’s thickened into custard you can remove from the heat and pour it all over the french toast. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake in the oven at 180ºC for about 20 minutes, until the sugar has browned and you have a lovely bread and buttery goodness on your hands. Serve with extra maple syrup if you have a seriously sweet tooth.