French toast, pain perdu or just plain old eggy bread, it's the talk of the foodie town and here's why …
Don’t let French toast fool you: it’s so much more than a practical dish designed to transform an elderly loaf of bread into a dessert.
In fact, chefs and foodies are falling over themselves to praise and jazz up the eggy bread while Instagram feeds are full of the sweet stodge creations complete with a scoop of ice-cream teetering on the top for dessert.
However, reaching French toast perfection is a tricky task to master: you’ve got the bread, the mixture, the soaking and the flavourings to think about – and that’s before you’ve even started to cook it.
So, what's the secret?
Where to get your French toast fix …
Where: Soho, London
What: kinako French toast
We say: syrupy, buttery, sticky and, most importantly, large. It comes with a side of green-tea flavoured ice-cream, too
Where: Orford, Suffolk
What: brioche French toast, bacon, banana and maple syrup
We say: crisp on the outside, pillowy-soft on the inside, the use of brioche is a stroke of genius
Where: Bishopsgate, London
We say: this is French toast gone Spanish and it involves maple caramel apples and cinnamon ice-cream
Where: this is a roaming pop-up
What: sticky toffee pudding or apple crumble French toast. Seriously
We say: the lakes of sauce earn them extra points
And on the savoury end ...
Where: Exmouth Market, London
What: cornbread French toast, bacon, rocket and avocado
We say: the French toast you could have morning, noon and night
Here’s how to make French toast taste even more amazing
Just add: chocolate
OK, so maybe this is more of a dessert than a breakfast dish but what could possibly go wrong when combining two of the world’s greatest inventions: hot chocolate and French toast? Soaked in the chocolatey good stuff and filled with a chocolate mocha ganache, this recipe from Half Baked Harvest is pure genius.
Just add: lemon and meringue
This is a real game changer. Let us introduce you to the lemon meringue French toast. You can thank us (well, I am a food blog) later.
Just add: peanut butter, banana and a honey-stuffed almond crust
This may seem like everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at a couple of slices of unsuspecting bread, but these are combinations that make sense. We salute you, The Noshery.
Just add: cherries, chocolate and coconut
Cherries and chocolate are a winning combination, but add crispy coconut-coated French toast into the mix and eggy bread will never look the same again. Take your lead from the Flourishing Foodie with this recipe.
Just add: rhubarb and mascarpone
Is this breakfast? Is it dessert? The combination of rich mascarpone with tart rhubarb jam, stuffed between slices of vanilla-speckled brioche from Sugar Hero is pretty special so you won’t quibble.