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!
- 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
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 3 tablespoons sugar (or raw sugar)
- powdered sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, orange juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg
- Place a few Panettone slices into the bowl to absorb the mixture (a good rule of thumb for how many to put in at a time is to put in as many as will fit without crowding or overlapping), let soak for 2 minutes and flip so that both sides absorb the mixture equally
- Butter and heat griddle to med-high
- When the Panettone is finished soaking, place them on the griddle and cook evenly on both sides (about 2 minutes on each side)
- Repeat until all the Panettone French toast are done
- In a small sauce pan, combine the frozen mixed berries and sugar and bring to a simmer
- Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the liquid reduces to a syrup
- Plate the Panettone French Toast and top with butter, topping, and powdered sugar