This classic breakfast/ brunch recipe is timeless! Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, or just starting your day on a good note, french toast coupled with a glass of bubbly, or a “tamed bubbly with a dose of fresh orange juice” will definitely do it!
French Toast is a term borrowed from French, originally the recipe of “pain perdu” which literally translates to “lost bread”. What they meant to refer to is “ leftover bread”, which became too dry to enjoy as is, but yet too precious to throw away, and don’t we all agree that French bread is too precious to throw away?
There are many versions of “Pain perdu” recipes, and you could substitute ingredients based on availability, personal preference and desired flavors; this recipe is simple, easy to prepare and delicious when combined with fresh seasonal berries.
Time: 30 minutes
Recipe created by: Elissar Kurban
1 Loaf of Brioche bread cut into 8/ 1 inch slices (you can substitute with other types of bread, based on your preference)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar (cane sugar or brown sugar preferable if available)
4 tbsp orange liqueur (Grand Marnier preferable if available)
4 large eggs
1 cup milk and ½ cup half & half (mixed)
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Orange zest (leave 1 tbsp aside)
½ Orange (juiced)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup toasted sliced almond
1 bunch fresh mint
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
Place sliced bread in a shallow pan
Whisk eggs with vanilla extract, milk, half & half, honey, salt, 2 tbsp of orange liqueur and orange zest and pour over bread and let soak for 5-7 minutes, ensuring that bread is evenly soaked and flipped if needed..
In a bowl, mix together berries with sugar, orange juice, 1 tbsp orange zest, 2 tbsp orange liqueur, chopped mint and leave aside.
Place large non-stick pan on medium heat and and add 1 tbsp butter and oil (oil is to prevent butter from burning) - take each slice of soaked bread, (drenched from excess egg mixture if needed) and saute’ for 2-3 minutes on each side (careful to control heat not to burn the bread)- you could fit about 4-5 slices at one, if need be, you could have bread sauteed in batches, but make sure you wipe the pan after each batch and add butter/oil before you saute’ bread.
Remove from heat and place on a platter, sprinkle with powdered sugar, toasted almonds and serve hot with the berries mixture.
French toast pairs well with a Mimosa Cocktail, which is a simple combination of champagne or sparkling wine and orange juice, typically based on a 50:50 ratio, but you could adjust per preference. I personally like to have mine 70:30, the more sparkling wine, the better, but the trick is to skip the pulp if you are using fresh orange juice and top your drink with a splash of Grand Marnier.
How to make a perfect Mimosa Cocktail?
It is argued that the Mimosa cocktail was invented at the Ritz by the French bartender, Frank Meie, others believe that it is a variation of the original cocktail known as Buck’s Fizz, which was promoted by Alfred Hitchcock in San Francisco and became a brunch essential. However, regardless of how we got introduced to this lively, refreshing cocktail, it remains a classic enjoyable drink for all seasons.
I love Champagne, and honestly, I would not want to dilute it with any other liquid, so I get to enjoy and savour its complex and unique character. Instead, I opt to substitute with other sparkling wines to make a cocktail, but not just any sparkling wine will give you the same result, as sparkling wines come in so many different methods and profiles. The closest profile to champagne is “Crémant”, which is produced in other parts of France, the most important are: “Crémant d'Alsace”, “ Crémant de Bourgogne” and “Crémant de Loire”, as they follow the same traditional method of champagne-making, and must spend a minimum of nine months on lees, which contribute to the complexity and roundness of the wine.
You only need three ingredients to make a Mimosa Cocktail:
1 bottle of sparkling wine (champagne, optional)
1 splash of orange liqueur per glass (Grand Marnier, optional)
3 oranges, juiced (pulp discarded)
For my Mimosa Cocktail recipe I used Crémant d'Alsace, Domaine Allimant-Laugner Rose’, made from 100% Pinot Noir; this elegant brut rose’ has intense aromas and flavors of strawberries, red berries, red cherries with hints of creaminess and brioche, has a pleasant finish and medium bubbles - and it’s under $20 :)
On a 50:50 ratio, pour sparkling wine, top with orange juice and a splash of orange liqueur, garnish with orange peel or raspberry.