I love lazy weekends when I get to wake up late, stay in my jammies, and whip up a tasty brunch. This is a recent brunch I made that made Jeff say, “It’s like we’re at Yolk (our local favorite brunch spot)!” Needless to say I was pretty proud of myself. This is a quick and easy recipe that doesn’t seem like a quick and easy recipe, meaning it’s fancy enough to serve to guests or that special someone. Also, you can make the syrup the day before, keep it in the fridge until morning, and warm it just before serving making it easy to serve to a crowd.
If you’re market doesn’t have Challah bread, you can use Brioche or French bread. I like Challah because it’s slightly sweet and already a little egg-y. It helps to use day old bread, and even slicing the bread the day before, to ensure that the bread soaks up a lot of the custard mixture. The strawberry syrup is a little tart, but you can add more sugar if you want a really sweet syrup. The vanilla adds a nice floral scent to the syrup, but you can omit it if you like. Whatever you do, do not skip the mascarpone filling. It’s soooooo good. I could eat the sweetened, lemon-scented mascarpone with a spoon by itself. Is that weird? Don’t answer that.
Anyway, I kindly suggest that you consider making this the next time you make brunch. (Sorry, I just did a customer service training for my job.) It’s so delicious, you’ll impress the pants off the person you serve this to. So beware… because awkward, pantsless consequences may result. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Mascarpone-Stuffed French Toast
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 loaf of Challah or Brioche bread, sliced about 3/4 in. thick
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk, I used 1%
- Canola oil
In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone, lemon zest, and sugar until combined. Using a butter knife, spread a generous scoop (about 2 tablespoons) of the mascarpone mixture on a slice of bread and then top with another slice. Repeat this process until you run out of mascarpone, about 6 sandwiches.
Preheat a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat (I used an electric griddle at 325ºF).
In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. Dip each of the sandwiches in egg mixture and turn to soak each side. Place on the hot griddle and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Cook in batches, keeping the finished French toast warm in a 200ºF oven, if needed.
Serve with warm Strawberry-Vanilla Syrup.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus more if needed
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. If the berries are tart, add more sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer until the strawberries are soft and the syrup has thickened, about 15 minutes. If you want a smooth syrup, you can strain the mixture or blend the syrup with an immersion blender. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.