I often get a couple looks of disapproval when I mention preferring french toast to pancakes, waffles or any other breakfast food really. Whether it has to do with my obsession with anything bread-based, my inability to successfully flip pancakes or whether I actually prefer the taste of them, all I know is that my love for french toast has been growing steadily for as long as I can remember. My weekday version of french toast includes a couple slices of bread, some banana and milk, and maple syrup. My weekend version on the other hand, is this queen of a dish, and includes vegan white chocolate sauce and maple lemon berries. Heaven in a dish my friends!
Copenhagen has somehow decided that despite it being being the last days of June, it is not in fact summer yet. Days are rather grey and cold, but rather than complaining, I’ve been trying to appreciate the breezy (cold) walks I can take to the beach by my house and the fact that I literally never sweat from just walking outside, like I would if I were still living in Rome. In the meantime, while I wait for the summer which will hopefully arrive in July, I’ve been staying indoors and cooking myself to the ground. As a true sun baby though, I am trying to have faith in the fact that the sun must, at some point, come out in Denmark too. If you too are living somewhere that is struggling to reach 20˚C, this recipe literally blow your socks off. If, on the other hand, you are living somewhere that has officially recognised that the sun should shine, then don’t worry, these french toast whip up with pretty little stove time, and will blow your birkenstocks off.
My only teeny tiny problem with bread-based recipes that call for day-old bread, is that my bread never actually makes it past the first day. So, whilst french toast is considerably best using slightly stale bread (and although this is definitely a cooking faux pas), I tend to rock my french toast with bread fresh from the bakery. When this is the case, and I go out to buy bread with the intention of making french toast, I slice it up as soon as I get home to allow the slices to dry out a little and then soak them for less time than usual. If you do have a little more self-control than I do when it comes to carbohydrates and have day old bread, then congratulations, your french toast are probably much better than mine. Either way, these guys are pretty fool-proof, and come together easily with mashed bananas, plant milk, a little cardamom, cinnamon and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Now for the real superstar: vegan white chocolate sauce. What a time to be alive! This recipe is adapted from Sarah B’s first cookbook, My New Roots. As a true health goddess, Sarah used hemp seeds in her white chocolate sauce, but as I was all out, I decided to use soaked cashews and it turned out incredibly. This high vibe white chocolate sauce comes together using cocoa butter, soaked cashews, maple syrup, tapioca starch and sea salt- that’s it! It tastes so wonderfully indulgent and makes a pretty big batch, so you can enjoy it all week long on anything and everything. Best of all, it work in total harmony with summer’s juicy berries. What a power couple.
French Toast with White Chocolate and Maple Berries
White Chocolate Sauce (Makes about a cup)
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cashews (soaked overnight, or covered with boiled water for 30 minutes)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1/8 tsp sea salt
Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler, and when melted transfer to a blender, along with the cashews, maple syrup and 1/2 cup warm water. Blend it until it is smooth, and then add in the tapioca starch and sea salt. Transfer it to a jar, and let it set for a couple minutes to thicken. After it has set, use as much as you please and then store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Quick note: because cocoa butter is naturally solid, the sauce tends to thicken up considerably when it is stored, so before I re-use it, I like to melt it again for about a minute, and add a tablespoon of water if it’s needed.
Maple Lemon Strawberries
1 punnet organic strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, scraped
Mix everything together, and let the strawberries sit in a bowl while the french toast cook to create the wonderful juices we would all drink up from our dishes as kids.
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup plant milk (I used rice)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 thick slices of bread (sourdough or brioche)
Mixed the mashed bananas and plant milk in a deep dish until well combined. Then mix in the cardamom, cinnamon and sea salt. Lightly oil a non-stick pan with coconut oil and heat on medium-high. While you wait for it to heat up, take one of the slices of bread and soak it in the wet mixture for about 5 seconds on each side (10 seconds if using day-old bread). Transfer the slice of bread to the hot pan and let cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Only soak the second, third and fourth slices of bread until the pan is ready for them, as leaving them in the wet mixture for too long will make the middle soggy even after they’ve has been cooked.
Plate it up! Slice up the french toast, top with a good dollop of white chocolate sauce, maple strawberries and red currants. Enjoy and have a wonderful summer weekend!