Playing Mad Scientist with the French Toast

Okay, okay, I know what you are thinking. “You get more basic than French Toast; it’s just eggs and bread.” Well first off, even if you feel that way, there’s still a danger of making the rookie mistake and not recognizing the egg as the star of this dish. So saturate that bread! (my general rule is 2 large eggs for every 3 pieces) But going beyond the basics, there are just so many cool things that foodies cando to jazz up our French toast. For example, don’t be fooled into thinking the “primadonna” eggs have a monogamous relationship with Stroehmann’s white bread. Eggs are loose; they get around. Let them find their way into German potato bread or Jewish Challah,

In addition to nutritional advantages, the melting pot of cultures will help prevent those pretentious French from getting too big of a head about their superior breakfast toast.

Now, let’s get back to the more key ingredients; the batter. Yes, I used the plural because there are things you should be adding to the egg batter or else you’re not getting the most out of your French Toast.Just like when you’re whipping up some scrambled eggs, it’s never a bad thing to add a bit of milk. But if that is just too much dairy or too predictable for you, try adding a splash of lemon juice. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Next stop on the FT Express: vanilla extract. This will take you a  half teaspoon away from breakfast bliss. (anything more than that amount is vanilla-overkilll.) Now suppose you do not have any vanilla extract in the house? First, do not panic.Second, think beyond the box. For examples, got any vanilla ice-cream? If so, then you just killed  2 birds with one stone! (the milk and the vanilla)

The final key ingredient does not get added until the grilling begins. The magical flavoring  that will always make your kitchen smell so damn good, the neighbors will start knocking on your door. Of course I
am talking about the cinnamon. And last week, to my horror, with the French Toast already on the fire, I realized that I was out of cinnamon! Oh no !!!! But I did not panic. Instead, I put myself into “mad scientist” mode, thinking creatively and outside the box. I noticed that I had some flavored Starbucks cocoa mix on hand and one of my options was chocolate-cinnamon. So simply sprinkling some of that hot chocolate mix on top of the bread darkened
everything with cinnamon.  Plus I received an added chocolate bonus! And there is total precedent for chocolate in pancakes since the I-Hops’s controversial decision to add chocolate chips got held up by the Supreme Court of Taste Buds . There was every reason to believe it would be just as delicious on French Toast, which totally turned out to be the case!

Finally, if you plan to put this added TLC into your French Toast, don’t ruin everything by dressing up the finished product with store brand maple syrup. It’s gotta be Vermont 100% pure maple or bust!

So best of luck with your “mad scientist” breakfast adventures and let our community know how you make out with it!

Happy eating,


3 comments to Playing Mad Scientist with the French Toast

  • Anonymous

    Elvis Toast, just a hunka, hunka grilled bread with egg, milk, peanut butter and banana.
    I love French Toast. After having it prepared the same ol' way, millions of times, I decided to get creative.
    So, one day I took a few of my favorite things and mooshed them together to create the most perfect French Toast concoction – I call it Elvis Toast.
    Take two slices of bread, I prefer whole wheat, and make a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Depending on your preference and cholesterol levels, put as much PB and Banana on as you like. Now, I slice the banana into coins – it just makes it easier to manage during the dipping stages.
    Okay, so now you have your peanut butter and banana sandwich. What's next, swivel your hips like Elvis and say, “Thank you very much”. Then dip your PB and Banana sandwich into your french toast batter. I like to use egg whites and skim milk with a splash of vanilla and cinnamon. But feel free to use the whole egg. I let mine soak for a bit – I likes it soggy.
    Here's where it can get crazy, so hang onto your rhinestone studded white jumpsuit- I recommend baking your Elvis Toast – that's right! I know that means HeartBreak Hotel for some, but let me tell you, you'll feel like you're in Blue Hawaii when you eat it! I put it in a pyrex dish and bake until crispy or no longer soggy and gooey. Or you can grill it in a pan – you decide – do you want to be Rhinestone Jumpsuit Elvis or Leather Jacket and Blue Jeans Elvis – the choice is yours.
    I serve mine with syrup and a side of my favorite Morningstar Veggie sausages. It's a meal fit for a King…a King of Rock 'n Roll, that is.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent recipe Stephanie ! This is exactly the type of “out of box” thinking that will elevate one's breakfast game. Thanks so much for the contribution

  • Anonymous

    Actually, for really terrific french taost the bread should be slightly stale. Use the challah friday night and then make french toast Sunday morning.
    Another tip is cinnamon. Add a few shakes to the egg mixture and beat it in…then soak the bread.
    One more tip. Beat the egg with a little milk instead of water. It adds a certain richness.

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