This is a variation of the traditional french toast breakfast that most of us have grown up with: maple syrup-soaked, golden french toast. I’ve replaced the maple syrup with a fairly thick sauce made from butter, cream cheese, a reduction of freshly-squeezed orange juice and confectioner’s sugar. Admittedly the sauce looks like mustard and doesn’t appear appetizing, but I guarantee you may not go back to eating french toast the old way once you’ve had a bite of this. The sweet citrus flavours of both the egg/milk mixture and the sauce is a pleasant surprise and also results in less soggy toast than if using syrup (which is part of the fun, though, I know).
I’ve been on an orange kick lately, mostly because they and their sweet cousin, the clementine, have been on sale over the past month. I picked up a box this morning from the grocery store that will probably last me 3 days at the rate I’ve been eating them. I also purchased a small hand juicer a few months ago that I’ve recently started using to squeeze my own orange juice as well, which has been a treat.
The recipe below is enough for one person, though you can multiply accordingly depending on how many people you serve.
1-2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup roasted pecans
1 tsp granulated sugar
2-3 slices of bread
1/2 clementine orange, peeled and sectioned
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp confectioner’s sugar
Mixture for soaking the bread:
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed or store bought
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Orange Cream Syrup:
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp cream cheese (light cream cheese is okay)
1/2 cup orange juice
1. For soaking mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
2. To prepare pecans: In frying pan, melt butter on medium heat, then add pecans. Stir to coat in melted butter, then cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Set aside.
3. To prepare syrup: In small saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of butter and then add orange juice and cream cheese. Whisk together on low to medium heat until it begins to bubble. Lower the heat and keep whisking occasionally as the sauce reduces by 1/3. Add confectioner’s sugar and stir. Remove from heat. You may have to whisk one more time before serving, as the mixture solidifies as it cools.
4. Place bread, one slice at a time, in the egg/milk mixture. Leave for 3 seconds on each side, to coat evenly, then flip to coat the other side.
5. In non-stick frying pan, on medium heat, add another 1/2 tbsp of butter and coat the pan. Add slices of soaked bread and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until both sides are golden brown. I also like to place the clementine sections in the frying pan, next to the bread, for 1 minute on each side, in order to heat them up a little.
6. Place the french toast on a plate. Place clementine sections and pecans on the toast, then generously dob or drizzle with the cream cheese syrup onto it. You can probably do this in a more artistic way than I did, I’m sure. Sprinkle with cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar…and dig in!