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French Toast with Walnuts and Raspberries

french toast with candied walnuts, hand whipped cream, and raspberry sauce

french toast with candied walnuts, hand whipped cream, and raspberry sauce

Good morning!  We thought we would start today by giving you some breakfast inspiration.  French toast was a staple growing up for August, and over the years she has had many versions.  This morning, Zach wanted to try something new.  It is important to follow the steps in order – you don’t want to put raspberries on cold french toast!

• For the walnuts:

1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. coarse salt

No more than 1/8 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Use the middle rack.  Spread walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and bake for 5 minutes.  Check for “doneness” – if they are not toasted enough, continue for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Be careful that they do not burn.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom.  Add enough sugar so that it looks like wet sand.  Cook sugar on medium heat, with no stirring or else the sugar will crystallize.  As soon as the sugar is melted and the color is medium amber, add the walnuts, quickly stirring to cover each piece with the sugar mixture.

Once the walnuts are coated, as quickly as you can, spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a fork to separate the pieces that stuck together.  Sprinkle with salt, and let cool.

• For the whipped cream:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2-3 tbs. honey

Mix whipping cream and honey in a bowl with a whisk or hand mixer for 2-5 minutes, until cream is fluffy and peaks form.  Make sure not to over-whip, or else you will make butter.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

• For the raspberry sauce:

About 20 raspberries for the sauce

About 10 raspberries for garnish

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbs. butter

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small saute pan, cook down 20 raspberries, sugar, and butter for about five minutes on medium low heat until berries are fully broken down.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Place garnish raspberries in sauce without stirring.  Set aside until serving.

• For the french toast:

3 slices Trader Joe’s cinnamon swirl bread

1/4 cup heaving whipping cream

1/8 cup milk

2 extra large eggs

1/2 tbs. butter

Mix cream, milk, and eggs to blend thoroughly.  Soak bread slices in egg mixture, coating both sides, until slices feel like wet sponges.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter on medium low.  Place slices in pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until the bread slightly puffs.  Make sure to stay at medium low, not medium, or else the inside of the bread will not cook.

Remove from pan, plate, garnish, and enjoy!