e cooks :: brioche french toast

It's about time for another E cooks episode! Today, it's one of my favourite ever dishes - good old French toast. Except it's not just a piece of bread dipped in egg and milk. Of course not, this is E we are talking about! Something to know about my husband: he is an amateur chef, who takes cooking very seriously. Like, "can't make a pasta dish in less than 2 hours" seriously. What can I say? He likes to make life difficult for himself.

But who am I to complain when the result is this good? Slices of brioche, dipped in Crème Anglaise and pan fried to perfection. Not too shabby at all.

His tip for the Crème Anglaise (which is the tricky part) is to get the consistency right. You have to be patient and cook it on very low heat, and if you overcook it then it begins to separate and becomes a big fat disaster. His words. 

If you're not into this whole fancy cream thing, even just using good quality brioche instead of baguette or toast bread would make a difference - it's so decadent and buttery and completely luxurious. Pretty much perfect for this time of year!

I can attest to the fact that the extra effort will be worth it though, so if you want to take on the challenge, the recipe is below all the deliciousness. Feast your eyes on this.

Recipe from Thomas Keller's Bouchon

Ingredients {for the Crème Anglaise}
1 cup double cream
1 cup milk
7 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
5 large egg yolks

To make:
1. Combine cream, milk & 4 tbsp sugar in a large saucepan. Add the seeds from one half of the vanilla pod. 
2. Bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove pan from heat, cover, let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Place a metal bowl in an ice bath, where the custard will go once it's ready. Reheat the cream mixture until warm.
4. Whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until colour lightens. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot cream mixture into the eggs. 
5. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. If you run a finger down the back of the stirring spoon and the mixture stays put on either side of the line and doesn't run, it's the right consistency.
6. Pour the custard into the bowl in the ice bath, and let it cool, stirring occasionally.

Ingredients {for the French toast}
1 1/2 cups Crème Anglaise
4 thick (3/4 inch) slices Brioche
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Icing sugar (optional)
Berries (optional)

To make:
1. Pour the Crème Anglaise into a baking tray, deep enough for one slice of Brioche. 
2. Soak the slices on one side, and then the other. 
3. Cook over medium heat on both sides, about 4-5 minutes each.
4. Serve with fruit, jam, maple syrup, icing sugar - whatever you like.