To celebrate autumn in all its crunchy-leaved, snuggling-up, comfort-food-eating glory, Waitrose have been asking bloggers, cooks and bakers to share their favourite ‘Autumn Warmer’ recipes. We took our inspiration from a certain bare chef’s recent berry stuffed French toast recipe and went on a bit of a sinful versus healthy French toast mash up.
French toast, eggy bread, whatever you call it, it’s a chilly Sunday morning breakfast staple. Some Sundays call for a healthy start and a nice cup of tea, others need litres of coffee and a hunk of our naughty, chocolatey version. You can share your favourite cockle warming recipes using the #AutumnWarmers hashtag and @Waitrose on Twitter, you can also visit the blogger recipe hub to see more like ours.
Naughty ~ Chocolate, caramel and cinnamon French toast
We make no excuses for this hugely calorific, sinful take on French toast. It positively oozes chocolate, caramel and butter but then cold weather is the perfect excuse to indulge. You use extra calories just keeping warm so you may as well use them!
Ingredients – makes two hunky slices
Unsliced white bread
8-15 Cadbury caramel bites
50g caster sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
A few strawberries to serve
Cut a hunky slice of bread, around 2-3cm/an inch deep. Use a sharp cerated knife to cut a pocket in the long side of the bread – this bit takes some care but it’s worth getting it right to make sure your chocolate isn’t going to ooze out. Now stuff you pocket with caramel bites – the more you can push in the naughtier it is. I think I managed about 8. Whisk your eggs up and put in a shallow sided bowl, pop your stuffed beauty in and let the bread absorb the egg on both sides. Heat up your chosen frying pan (a cast-iron skillet if you can get it) and add a good dollop of butter (not olive oil, not 1 calorie spray oil and NEVER margarine). When it’s bubbling away nicely add your bread and fry for 3-4 minutes each side to get it nice and crunchy and give the chocolate time to melt.
The next bit is up to you – serve with fruit, ice cream or creme fraiche. But take it from us, it’s best eaten in bed with the Sunday papers (put the the kids on the sofa with the iPad – works a treat!).
Nice ~ Plum and fig French toast
If you’re in a virtuous mood, our ‘nice’ French toast is packed with seasonal organic fruit and swaps out some of those naughty treats without losing the flavour. Victoria plums have had a bumper season in our neck of the woods so this is a great one for using them up, plus we’ve found this end of summer/early autumn period is great for finding juicy figs.
Ingredients – makes four chunky slices
Unsliced sourdough (a cranberry and pecan tin loaf from Jigsaw Bakery for us)
2 figs and 2 plums – ideally organic
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (soya or almond)
Tablespoon coconut oil
Cut your inch deep slices of bread and cut each side without meeting in the middle – making a butterfly effect (a pocket is just too hard work in sourdough!). Slice your plums and figs and stuff inside the butterfly wings – I did a side of each. Mix up your eggs and soya milk in a shallow bowl (you can add a cheeky drop of vanilla essence if you have a sweet tooth) and soak your stuffed bread on each side.
Heat around a teaspoon of coconut oil per slice on a medium heat and gently add your soaked slices with a spatula- it’s surprisingly easy not to lose any fruit in the process. Leave for a good few minutes each side until golden brown and crisped with the fruit warm in the middle. Serve and eat immediately – we had ours sliced diagonally, drizzled in honey and (if you’re a fan) a few sprigs of thyme go with the honey and figs perfectly. If you’re feeling a little bit naughty use maple syrup instead (or just follow up with our naughty recipe too 😉 !)
What are your staple #AutumnWarmers? We’d love to see your favourites.