The week-end after learning to make croissants and brioche, I ate all (yes, I really mean all) the croissants and mini brioche buns I made. I know, I know. I probably shouldn’t have eaten them all. I need to learn to share or something crazy like that, but I couldn’t help it. I was so excited that I ate them all!
Remarkably (given my track record), I did demonstrate a tremendous amount of willpower when I saved the two loaves of brioche that I had also baked that week. I froze one of them right away on the day I baked it. I wrapped the second in foil and saved it for when my mom came to visit me. Unfortunately, she could only make it to Ottawa several days later. I guess we could say that at that point, the brioche was “less than fresh”.
Stale brioche is sad. Stale brioche is extra sad when it involves brioche that you worked so hard to knead by hand.
That’s okay because that’s what French toast is for!
See, that’s the beauty of French toast (also known as pain perdu): stale bread can be reinvented into something even better, while reviving its light texture. I made this stuffed French toast recipe with my mom when she came to visit me. This way she could get to enjoy my brioche and experience just how light it is. It’s like magic!
Stuffed French toast sounds harder than it actually is. Basically, you slice a loaf of stale bread into thick slices (about 1 inch thick). Cut a slit horizontally into each slice along one edge to make a pocket that you then fill (I bet just making a sandwich with two thinner slices would also work). Then you dip each slice of stuffed bread in an egg batter, fry it in a little butter, et voilà!
You could stuff your French toast with lots of different fillings (I’m thinking peanut butter and jam would be a fun, kid-friendly filling, or homemade nutella), but this time, I followed a Martha Stewart recipe for the filling and made this stuffed French toast with cream cheese and an Italian plum jam. The French toast was such a treat drizzled generously with Quebec maple syrup, but next time, I think my mom and I would both agree that we’d use mascarpone or ricotta instead of cream cheese because we found the cream cheese a little too tangy.
Stuffed brioche French toast
- 1 loaf stale brioche I got 8 out of my loaf, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
- 3 tbsp plum jam or whatever jam you fancy
- 1/4 cup cream cheese or mascarpone room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- A couple tbsp unsalted butter for cooking the French toast
- Lots of maple syrup for drizzling
- With a small serrated knife, cut a slit in each slice, along an edge, to form a pocket that can be filled. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, cream together the cream cheese (or mascarpone) and the jam.
- Stuff each slice of bread with about a tablespoon of the jam and cheese mixture.
- In a shallow dish or a pie plate, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cinnamon.
- Meanwhile, preheat a fry pan over medium-high heat.
- Soak each stuffed slice in the egg mixture for 5 seconds on either side.
- Place a piece of butter in the heated fry pan, and fry the French toast in batches.
- Serve immediately with a generous drizzling of maple syrup.