Sunday, January 12, 2014

Caramelized Sourdough French Toast with Mixed Berry Compound Butter, Macerated Blackberries, Homemade Whipped Cream, & Buttered Maple Syrup

Caramelized Sourdough French Toast with Mixed Berry Compound Butter, Macerated 
Blackberries, Homemade Whipped Cream, & Buttered Maple Syrup
So, there was a nasty cold front that moved through Atlanta this week, and it was absolutely dreadful. Pipes were bursting, roads were freezing... all chaos ensued. It's funny how Southerners act like the world is ending when it isn't even snowing. We're all a bunch of nut cases. But really, can you blame us? We live in a world where it's a hot as hell, the cold is far too frigid. Anyway, the sun finally came out today, YAY. And it started feeling like springtime again. We all know that gives me the itch to make a decadent brunch on the porch, butofcourse. I already had a gorgeous loaf of sourdough bread, so french toast was meant to be. Now, I feel really strongly about french toast. There a three keys to success when making this iconic breakfast staple... 1. Thick, THICK slices of bread 2. Perfect Batter 3. Lots & lots of gourmet toppings. First we tackle the bread. I cut my slices about two inches thick and soak them for about 15-20 minutes in the batter. Now the batter is important because that is where all the flavor is injected. So mine is flavored with heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean rum, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg. When you soak the thick slices of bread in this luscious batter, the middle puffs up into this almost souffle-like center, but the crusts remain crunchy + chewy. But what really puts this recipe over the top is the dusting of powdered sugar. Some of you might be wondering how I get the french toast so perfectly caramelized-- and that's because of the confectioners' sugar! I used a fine mesh sieve to lightly dust the sugar all over both sides of the soaked bread and quickly tossed them into hot butter. Since the pieces of bread are so thick, you have to cook them a good while until everything has heated through and the outsides have evenly browned & crisped. It is also very important to bake it in the oven for about 10-20 minutes to round everything out and keep it warm for serving. Onto the gourmet topping... I made homemade mixed berry compound buttered, macerated blackberries, whipped cream, & buttered maple syrup. Mixed berries + french toast are a match made in heaven, y'all. So don't leave them out... especially the compound butter... and the whipped cream... oh shit, don't leave out anything, alright?! Finishing out the meal, I served our french toast with cheesy scrambled eggs + praline bacon. Umm yumm. Well, I hope y'all make this soon because it makes Sunday Brunch that much better!! Enjoy :)
Soaking the thick slices of french toast in batter...
Ahh the dusting of confectioners' sugar...
SEE-- the PERFECT caramelization
french toast, cheesy scrambled eggs, & praline bacon
raspberry sorbet mimosa in a mason jar
For the Mixed Berry Compound Butter:
4 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
1C Mixed Berries (I used raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries)
1t Vanilla
1T Sugar
Pinch of Salt & Cinnamon

For the Macerated Blackberries:
3C Fresh Blackberries
½C Sugar
2T Balsamic Vinegar + 1T Fresh Lemon Juice

For the Caramelized Sourdough French Toast:
1 Loaf of Crusty Sourdough Bread, Sliced Very Thick
4 Extra Large Eggs
½C Heavy Cream
¼C Milk + Vanilla Bean Infused Rum
3T Sugar
2t Vanilla Extract
1T Fresh Orange Zest
¼t Cinnamon & Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
Confectioners’ Sugar, For Dusting
Unsalted Butter, For Frying

For the Buttered Maple Syrup:
½C Maple Syrup
4T Butter 

For Serving:
Prepared Mixed Berry Compound Butter, Cut into Rounds
Prepared Macerated Blackberries
Warm French Toast Slices
Prepared Buttered Maple Syrup
Homemade Whipped Cream

1. For the Mixed Berry Compound Butter: Beat together the softened butter, vanilla, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until combined & fluffy. Add in the mixed berries and beat until they have broken up and evenly dispersed throughout the butter. Spoon it onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a log and refrigerate until the butter has chilled and hardened. Cut into rounds and enjoy on your French toast.
2. For the Macerated Blackberries: Using a fork or the back of a wooden spoon, mash 1 cup berries with sugar and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl until sugar begins to dissolve. Gently stir in remaining berries; let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until berries are juicy, 1-2 hours.
3. For the Caramelized Sourdough French Toast: Cut the bread into 8 large wedges. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, milk, rum, granulated sugar, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large baking dish. Add the bread and turn occasionally until soaked through, about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the confectioners' sugar in a fine-mesh sieve. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of the bread and dust generously with the confectioners' sugar; cook, turning and dusting often with more confectioners' sugar, until golden brown and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes (add more butter to the skillet, if needed). Transfer the French toast to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Add more butter to the skillet and repeat with the remaining bread. Serve with maple syrup.
4. For the Buttered Maple Syrup: Heat maple syrup in a small pot and whisk in a tablespoon of butter at a time, while whisking the entire time, until the mixture is completely incorporated. Serve warm.
5. For Serving: Serve the French toast with some mixed berry compound butter, macerated blackberries, a drizzle of buttered maple syrup, and a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Enjoy!

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