Seasonal burnout

Bleurrrrgggghhhhhhhh. You too? Thought so.

So the last thing you could possibly want or need right now is a recipe for a breakfast so indulgent you might consider following it with a soluble aspirin chaser to keep the blood flowing freely. But if I don’t get this one out before Jan 1 then it will sit in my drafts folder for another 11 and a bit months before I feel I can justify posting it. And to my mind it is the perfect breakfast for New Year’s day, when the need for cramming one’s pallid, sweaty face with carbs, fat, sugar and salt is at its greatest. Because even if you have signed up to a month of penance, January should never, EVER start until the kids are back at school  the 2nd.

Happy New Year and thanks so much for reading (all 5 of you!) XXX

Doorstep French toast


I’ve never really liked eggy bread as I often find it a bit flabby, a bit greasy and well, just too eggy. That is until I tried the Spanish version – torrijas – on a holiday to the Basque region last year. Here they serve up – for pudding rather than breakfast – great fat wedges of bread that have first been soaked in a mixture of sweetened milk or cream, then dipped in egg before frying in oil. I haven’t tried making authentic torrijas yet, but I have nicked the idea of cutting the bread for the toast thicker and then soaking it in a mixture of milk, cream and eggs to make it more luxurious. My lot prefer theirs to be quite firm and bready in the middle, so I only give the bread slices the briefest of dips in the ‘custard’, but a longer steep will give you a softer, slightly stodgier result.

Serves 4

  • 1 medium egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • pinch salt
  • 150ml double cream (use single if this risks tipping you over the edge)
  • 150ml milk
  • 4 slices of brioche or white bread cut at least an inch thick (if using normal bread cut off the crusts to make neat rectangles, and cut these in half if they are too big)
  • large knob of butter
  • tsp unflavoured oil (e.g. sunflower) to stop butter burning
  • caster or granulated sugar and ground cinnamon mixed in a ratio of 4:1
  1. Whisk the egg, egg yolk and vanilla with the sugar and pinch of salt to combine.
  2. Add the cream and milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat in a large non-stick frying pan.
  4. When butter starts to foam, dunk you bread slices in the custard then place in the pan. You may have to do this is batches if your pan is not big enough.
  5. Fry on each side until golden (tongs are v. useful here).
  6. Drain briefly on kitchen paper before dredging with cinnamon sugar.

Serve with yogurt and berries, or caramelised apples and pecans, or omit the cinnamon sugar and serve with crispy bacon and maple syrup. Hair of the dog entirely optional.


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