Luscious Vanilla Orange French Toast
Recently I posted about the panini grill I got by accident, when what I had really wanted was this spiffy 5-in-1 griddle and grill. Although the panini grill was neat, I really did want that multi-tasker (you know, the Word of Alton Brown is “Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Uni-Tasker”), so I exchanged to get the one I wanted. Usually, I’ll just live with it when I make a mistake like that, but I am so glad I didn’t this time! This griddler is really cool and I’ve used it several times already.
Previously, when I made French Toast, I had to heat up a couple of different nonstick fry pans, each of which can only hold 1-2 pieces at a time. So I ended up standing over the stove while everyone else ate (so their food didn’t get cold). The griddler is much more efficient and I can fit many pieces at a time. I was able to get them all done in two quick batches and sit down to eat at the same time as the rest of the family. Plus, they all browned much more evenly than they did in the fry pans. I’ve also used the griddle for pancakes and it was great. The griddle plates are easily scraped with a provided tool and can then go right into the dishwasher. Yay!
So, back to the French Toast. My boyfriend has the biggest sweet tooth on the planet. He pretty much expects to eat something sweet at least once every day, preferably more often. If he doesn’t get some kind of sweet breakfast item on the weekend, he really feels deprived (maybe you noticed the many sweet breakfast items here – cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles). Since I had some going-stale-rolls, I sliced them up and went for French Toast this time.
I have this no-fail recipe for French Toast that produces delicious every time, crisp on the outside, soft and custardy on the inside French Toast. After trying lots of tasty-but-never-just-right recipes, I ended up taking a recipe from one place and some techniques from another and have hit upon what we think is the Perfect French Toast recipe! The basic recipe is scrumptious as is, but it’s also easy to customize it with different flavors. This time, we went with orange.
It was a hit! The Man loved it and said the orange made the outer coating seem almost “candy like.” I’m not sure I agree with that, but it was sweet and it was delicious! Definitely serve this with a big glass of icy cold milk and be prepared to ignore calories. Feel free to omit the orange flavoring, or sub something else in there of your choice.
None of these pictures really show how delish this recipe is, but trust me, it’s a winner!
Adapted from Food Network recipes and techniques by Rachael Ray and Alton Brown.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in splash of water
- 1 cup whole milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 2 drops orange bakery emulsion or the zest of 1 orange
- About 8 slices stale bread (I got more out of this batch, but they were small pieces)
- Cooking spray
Place wire rack over a cookie sheet in oven. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Create a “drip station” by setting a wire rack over a cookie sheet on the counter.
Beat eggs very well, add sugar and beat again. Add cornstarch in water and beat that in, then add milk, vanilla, nutmeg and orange flavoring.
Soak bread in mixture 30 seconds on each side. Remove coated bread to drip station – place on top of wire rack and allow to to drain for 1-2 minutes.
Lightly spray griddle or nonstick fry pan with cooking spray, then quickly wipe with a paper towel. You only want a bare hint of oil. Add bread to griddle and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Move toast to wire rack in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Don’t leave in the oven much longer than that or it will get too brown and hard around the edges. But don’t skip this step – it makes the interior all luscious and custardy.
Serve warm with maple syrup or dusted with powdered sugar.