Stuffed French Toast Gets the Strawberry-Jam-Cream-Cheese-Chocolate Treatment
The Midwestern Gentleman and I were craving a decadent, lazy Sunday brunch this weekend, so I decided to make an old favorite, stuffed french toast. To alleviate my guilt over the nutritional content of this breakfast, we also whizzed up some spinach, berry, and yogurt smoothies. Stuffed french toast is best made with a fresh, soft bread like a challah or, in this case, an Italian country loaf. This is one of those wonderful dishes that can be changed up according to your flavor hankerings and whatever happens to be in your fridge or cupboard. I looked no further than strawberry jam, cream cheese, and a jar of Nutella — what could be better than a Sunday brunch with the flavors of cheesecake and chocolate-dipped strawberries?
Stuffed French Toast
1 loaf of freshly baked bread
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
scant 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar or plain sugar + a few drops vanilla extract
butter for greasing the griddle
For fillings: jam, cream cheese, Nutella, peanut butter, apple butter…
Slice the bread for the stuffed French toast. Make the first cut almost all the way through the loaf, leaving one edge intact. Cut all the way through the loaf on the second cut, so you end up with a thick slice of bread that is split in the middle (see photos, below).
Hold the bread open and spread the insides with whatever fillings you like. I made some with cream cheese and strawberry jam, some with Nutella and strawberry jam, and some with just Nutella. Press the sandwiches together snugly.
Beat the eggs, almond milk, and sugar together in a large Pyrex measuring cup or small bowl. I like to make my batter in a Pyrex cup and then pour as much batter as I need for each slice into a small, flat baking dish not much bigger than the slices themselves. This helps me control how deep the batter is, and how much batter each slice absorbs.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, and smear the surface with butter. When the butter begins to bubble and foam slightly, dip a slice of stuffed bread into the egg batter, turning to coat both sides evenly. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is golden, then flip and cook a minute or two more until the second side is golden brown and the egg batter is cooked through.
Serve hot. The filling is so warm and gooey you won’t need any additional toppings, but you could always serve some syrup, jam, or butter on the side if you like. Any leftovers make a wonderful snack later on, cold, right out of the fridge. However, having leftovers is not very likely.