Saturday, 21 November 2015

French Toast

Simply French Toast ?

Adopted by France from Medieval Europe, this bread and egg recipe is set to date back to the 4th century where it is mentioned in the Apicius the oldest inscribed collection of Latin recipes! At the time white bread was only for the rich and prepared for Royalty; referred to aliter dulcia or just another sweet.

Now during the 14th century Taillevent (born Guillame Tirel), a cook in the royal court of France wrote the first official cookery book and mentions the "golden toast" in it. He was later recognised as a culinary genius of sorts.

While in the 15th century the French referred to it as pain perdu (perdue) the literal meaning being a lost sentinel! But in reality it referred to the stale bread which should not be lost or wasted. 

Fast forward to the 1900's when it was once again revived to glory during the days of the World War. A time when food rations were acute and stale bread was reused in this very popular way. The Austrian and Germans called it Pavese; representing the "shield" used in battle.

The Spanish have their very own 'French Toast' called Torrija/Torreja very similar in concept and yet the olive oil and spices mark the difference. 

Still fairly popular in Europe, diners in North America and in other parts of the world it has seen much transformation and adaptation. It seems to have started off as being a sop - dipped in milk and fried; to be served with game meat. Moving on to an egg bread and now a delicacy for breakfast, brunch and tea offered with a variety of combinations from deli meats, to cream and jams, fresh fruit platters, fried eggs or just simple maple syrup.

This is my daughter Nasha's concoction which she loves to prepare for her friends since Uni days. She has perfected it and shares it for all to try.

Sticky and moist, delicious French Toast with maple syrup  spiced with cardamom


6 slices brioche bread
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup + more to drizzle on
dash of salt
1/4 tsp each of cardamom and nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp salted butter to fry in


Beat the egg and add the ingredients. Mix it well.
Heat a skillet and add half the butter. 
Dip 3 slices of bread into the mixture. one at a time and pan fry it. Turn just once, allow it to cook through.  Repeat, with the other 3 slices.  This should take  about 3 minutes on each side on a medium heat. Serve it warm with maple syrup and fruit.


If Brioche bread is not available use any stale white bread. 

The brioche is an egg bread with a slight sweetness to it. It adds to the amazing flavour of this very simple dish. 
Use a mix or singularly the spice of your choice. Cardamom and nutmeg blend rather well. Cinnamon being another option.

For more recipes  Niloufer's Kitchen: French Bistro from

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