Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Foray into French Toast

If you know our families at all, we like to eat.  Whether it's a home-cooked meal or a restaurant, we simply love food, and the fellowship that goes along with it.  When I started thinking about writing a blog, I knew that I wanted food to play a role.

When visiting Louisville, one of our favorite spots, especially for breakfast, is Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  Jason's breakfast standard is bacon and eggs, but my favorite by far is the Bourbon Ball French Toast (although the BLT Fries are also delicious).

At Lynn's, about to devour their famous French toast
I have always wanted to try to make this dish at home, but every time I looked at the recipe, I'd get overwhelmed and never follow through.

However, during spring break I finally printed off the recipe, went to the grocery, and invited my parents and sister over for breakfast that Wednesday, to ensure that I wouldn't back out.  I am happy to say...it was a HUGE success!  Jason even gave it a 10 out of 10.

Below, I have posted the recipe from Food Network (Lynn's was on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay), as well as some notes of my own about the changes I made.  This recipe did take about an hour, including prep and cook time, but it was well worth it for a special breakfast treat.  I will definitely make it again.  Hope you enjoy!

Finished product

Bourbon Ball French Toast

Ingredients

Batter:
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
French Toast:
  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf firm textured bread, preferably a baguette (The restaurant uses cinnamon swirl bread, so that is what I bought, even though that isn't what this recipe called for. I loved the extra kick of cinnamon.)
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Bourbon Vanilla Custard, recipe follows
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Kentucky Bourbon Whipped Cream, recipe follows
  • 1 pint fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves
Directions

For the batter:
Beat all batter ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

For the French Toast:
Slice the baguette into 18 thick slices. Soak the slices in the batter for about 3 minutes, turning to coat evenly on each side.  (I would actually suggest veering from the recipe here.  On the first few slices, I left them for a couple of minutes and they were way too saturated.  I would just dredge them for a few seconds.)

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

Lift the bread from the batter and place it in the hot pan. Add only enough slices to fit easily in the pan. Saute on both sides until golden brown. Keep warm until all slices have been cooked.

Place 3 slices on each plate. Drizzle with warm Bourbon Vanilla Custard. Garnish with chocolate syrup and Kentucky Bourbon Whipped Cream. Top with sliced strawberries and toasted pecan halves. Serve immediately.

Bourbon Vanilla Custard:
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon  (I left this out and the consistency was still good.)
Heat half-and-half and whipping cream in a small saucepan over low heat, until the mixture begins to simmer.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a stainless steel bowl for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Serve immediately or hold over a hot water bath.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Kentucky Bourbon Whipped Cream: 
(I just used premade whipped cream, but I'm sure this would be yummy)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
Whip cream in well chilled mixing bowl just until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and bourbon and whip just long enough to incorporate. Taste and adjust flavors. Chill until ready for use.
Yield: 3 cups

Ready to dig in

Connor stuffed his face, too!

4 comments:

Platypodian said...

Yum! That looks delicious!

Melanie said...

That looks delicious!
Btw- I love the new look! :)

The Davidsons said...

Jacob -- Thank you!

Melanie -- Thank you SO much for your help!

egnew said...

It was delicious AND beautiful!