Who doesn’t love all things breakfast? More importantly, who doesn’t love all things breakfast for dinner!? Tonight we have created for you an orange zest mascarpone cream stuffed french toast topped with an orange simple syrup. There are some days that you just crave the comfort of breakfast for dinner. You could call this a dessert, but we like to call it “deliciousness!”
French toast is one of those “breakfast” foods that has the ability to take you back years and years to early childhood, when your mom or dad dipped a piece of day old white bread in a mixture of egg, milk and cinnamon and let it fry on a buttered griddle to get you all set for the day! Throw a piece of bacon or sausage on the side, and you were in heaven! We’ve prepared an elevated, more sophisticated version of that! The orange zest mascarpone cream helps in that elevation but the simple syrup made from orange juice just puts it over the edge.
Now we know this is a breakfast dish, but you all know that we HAVE to pair it with a beer. In this dish’s case, you would have to pair it with a breakfast stout or a sweeter porter. We’re not sure anything else would mesh well. We chose Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter for this pairing, but Founder’s Breakfast Stout would also work really well. It’s robust, toasty flavors compliment this dish very well. The heaviness of the beer compliments the heaviness of this dish, but it’s just sweet enough to not come off too dry and smother the flavors of the french toast.
We hope this recipe takes you back to a simpler time, and we hope you enjoy making it just as much as we did!
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 package (8oz) mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 4 thick slices challah or brioche bread
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
- 6 to 7 tablespoons pure cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup juice from fresh orange
- For the whipped cream, begin by zesting a medium to large orange, and set aside for later use. (Don’t throw away the orange; you will use the juice from the orange later). In a stand mixer (or handheld mixer), begin whipping the heavy cream with your whisk attachment at low to medium speed (speed will depend on the stand mixer itself). As the cream is whipping, gradually add the confectioners sugar in 1 tablespoon increments. Be sure to add slowly, so you don’t make a big mess =). When soft peaks have formed, turn off your mixer. In a separate medium-sized bowl, scoop the mascarpone cheese from it’s packaging. Slowly fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone with a rubber spatula. Add the orange zest and chocolate chips, and mix until just combined.
- For the french toast and assembly, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the eggs, cream or half and half, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice in a medium-sized serving bowl. Whisk together until combined. Preheat a griddle on the stove top at medium heat, and spread a tablespoon of butter on to the griddle to keep the french toast from sticking. Slowly dip the sliced bread into the prepared batter and place on the griddle. Repeat this step for the other three slices. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown on each side; flipping one more time if needed. Pull the bread from the griddle once they have reached a golden brown color and cover until ready to use.
- Butter your 9×11 glass dish and layer two slices of cooked french toast onto the middle of the dish. On top of the first layer, scoop 1/4 cup of your already prepared Orange Mascarpone Cream onto each slice of bread. Top with the last two pieces of french toast. Pop into the preheated oven and let bake for 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare a simple syrup from the juice of the orange you zested earlier. You can do this by heating the orange juice on the stove top with equal parts pure cane sugar per volume (about 4-5 tablespoons for a medium-sized orange). Once the mixture starts to thicken, you have reached the desired consistency. Now pull the french toast “sandwiches” from the oven and remove immediately from the serving dish. Garnish with confectioners sugar, sliced almonds, banana, sliced orange and/or mint. Almost anything sweet and delicious will do!