Holiday Breakfast: Panettone French Toast

December 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

I am a huge French Toast fan and am always looking for ways to spruce up the classic.  I am always pondering ways to give the classic a twist – whether it be by using a new kind of bread or croissants.  Given that we are in the middle of the winter holiday season, Italian Panettone seems to be the natural choice to stand in for the trusty French bread.

Panettone are a traditional Italian sweet bread that is made for Christmas and New Year (Italians out there, correct me if I get any of this wrong).  It traditionally takes on a round cake or cupola shape and weighs about one and a half pounds.  I dream of the day I find myself in Milan around Christmas time so I could enjoy a fresh baked Panettone in its natural habitat.

But even here in the states, Panettone are easily acquired if you know where to look.  You can seek out an Italian family member or friend to ship you the original (I am still working on this option myself), pick one up at your local Italian deli (I am fortunate to have this option) or grocery store (some have them handy in time for the holidays), or you can order them online.

I used my usual classic French toast recipe for the egg mixture — whenever trying new recipes I like to switch up one major ingredient at a time so that I know which substitution yields which result.  My husband was the guinea pig this time and I he was certainly not complaining.  The Panettone is so fluffy and soft that it absorbs the egg mixture perfectly.

The final result is one of the fluffiest French toast textures I have ever tasted – the delicate texture is a perfect accompaniment to the raisins in the Panettone and the fruit topping gives it that little something extra.  There is almost a bread pudding type of quality to the middle sections of each slice.  In fact, I might try this as a bread pudding next time.  Will share when I do…

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did — let me know how yours turns out!

Ingredients:

French Toast

  • 1/2 of a Pannetone cake, sliced into evenly cut slices
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Topping

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or raw sugar)
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

French Toast

Topping

To serve

Yelena’s Banana Bread Thursday!

March 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

This recipe comes from my sister, Yelena, who makes the most amazing banana bread! Its nutty and sweet and just heavenly! This makes a great tea-time accompaniment and is sinfully yummy for breakfast with coffee.

Yelena’s Banana Bread:

As a sweet mid-week treat, I have found banana bread to be quite delectable. It lasts throughout the weekend, and is great to snack on or as dessert. This recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser!

To begin, you will need three bowls – small, medium, and large. For the baking part, you’ll need a small (8”x4”) bread pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the dry ingredients in the large bowl and set aside:

1 ½ cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

You will also need:

4-5 semi-brown bananas

2 eggs

1/3 melted (and slightly cooled) butter

1 tsp vanilla

½ – 1 cup chocolate chips

½ – 1 cup chopped walnuts

In the medium bowl, mash up the bananas until they are a thick, soupy consistency; set aside.

In the small bowl, beat the eggs. Add the butter and vanilla.

Once well mixed, add these contents of the small bowl to the bananas in the medium bowl. Mix well.

If desired, add chocolate chips and chopped walnuts – both create great texture in the final product! Mix well.

Finally, combine the wet ingredients (banana and egg mixture) with the dry ingredients in the large bowl.

Pour the final mixture into the greased bread pan. Place in the oven for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, testing with a fork in the final minutes for readiness.

Once ready, let cool, and enjoy!

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