Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Croissant French Toast Recipe

Welcome back to the South Court Inn B&B Blog.  It has been a while since I last posted, but hope springs eternal and I'm hoping I'll be able to stick to it a bit better this Spring.  As you can well imagine, cooking for the public is a real challenge.   When we opened Memorial Day Weekend, 2000, (and yes, please note that we are coming up on starting our 12th year in business!) I quickly discovered that our guests had some very strong ideas on what a B&B breakfast was supposed to be, and, at least here in Luray, heuvos rancheros was not on their list of things they wanted to try!  Recent discussion at the breakfast table seems to tell me that tastes have changed over the past 12 years, so I promise to give heuvos rancheros another try sometime in the near future.  So don't be surprised if you are here during the week if you come down to a great plate of eggs over a mound of refried beans splashed with green chili sauce and chili con queso with  Spanish rice on the side.

In the meantime, Saturday breakfast here at South Court Inn almost always features my version of French Toast and I want to share the recipe with you.  This recipe is different from those you might be accustomed to in that I bake it in sheet pans, use croissants instead of French or other breads, put no sugar in the custard and give it a haunting flavor by adding ground cardamom to the seasoning.  Note too that I do not salt to the custard because the croissants have enough salt to carry the whole dish.  With that said, sound the is the much requested recipe for croissant French Toast as we serve it here at South Court Inn!

1 large or 2 small plain croissants per person
2 eggs per person to be served
1 cup half and half
1 tblspn vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 can non-stick spray

Mixing and Cooking:
Put the eggs, spices and half and half into a blender and blend on medium speed for about 1 minute.  Turn the blender off, remove the blender jar and set in the fridge until ready to dip the croissants.  Slice each croissant lengthwise into two pieces and set aside until ready to pan for baking.  When ready to prepare for baking, preheat your oven to 325F.  Thoroughly coat your baking pan with non-stick spray and set it for convenience on your prep table.  Remove the blender jar from the fridge and pour the contents into a bowl which is as wide as the croissants.  Starting with the croissant bottom, dip them in the custard mix just long enough for them to become moist but not sopping wet.  In fact, allow excess custard to drain from each bottom for a few seconds after dipping. Arrange the bottoms across the pan and repeat with the tops, placing each top over a corresponding bottom.  Once completed, spray the top of all the croissants with non-stick spray.  Transfer the filled pan to the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes or done, according to your oven's cooking idiosyncrasies.  When done, the croissants should be nicely puffed and browned across the top.  Serve immediately with your favorite syrup or topping alternative.

Alternative Preparations:
During the fall color season, our guests really like the pumpkin version of this recipe I prepare.  Add a cup of pumpkin puree to the custard while it is is in the blender and blend for another minute.  Then (here's the hard part) put the custard through a fine strainer before dipping the croissant in it.  The final product looks better without random strands of pumpkin fiber sticking up into the air.  Serve the pumpkin croissant French toast with a sauceboat of caramel pecan syrup so folks can help themselves and stand back for the onset of a good case of MMMMMMMMMMMMssssssssssss to fill the room!    

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