Oh, how I looove French toast.
Call me crazy, but I just might like it even more than pancakes...Yes I know, that much!
There's just something about battered bread that's fryed in butter, and served with maple syrup or a delicious berry sauce that makes my heart skip a beat! It's so easy to make, and I always have the key ingredients of bread, eggs, milk and butter on hand!
I'm not sure if you read a couple of weeks ago about my little story, A Tale of Two French Toasts, where Mr. Cozy and I visited a locally favorite cafe for breakfast and had absolutely incredible French toasts! I was inspired by the amazing marmalade one that my husband ordered, so this morning I decided to make French toast with a twist of orange flavor. Fancy French toast, if you will!
Last week I bought Mascarpone cheese at Trader Joes for the first time. I've never bought it before, but I knew it's similar to cream cheese, therefore I would love it. I sure do! It's very soft and spreadable and is almost buttery-sweet....just delicious! Mascarpone cheese is definitely made for sweet recipes as opposed to savory. It was a perfect base for the filling of this French toast!! (Although, if you don't have any at home and want to make this recipe, cream cheese is a terrific substitute! Yum!)
I've never made stuffed French toast in my life and decided to when I woke up craving really good French toast. I used sweetened mascarpone cheese, orange marmalade and fresh orange zest as the filling. It was so delicious, it can easily be a fruit dip or spread for toast and bagels ....Oh my!
You know how after you make a new recipe, as you're eating it, you think of other ways you could improve it? Maybe it's just me.! Anywho, there are a few little things I might try doing differently the next time with this recipe. Let me explain, and you can make the decisions for yourself!
1. I used a little powdered sugar to sweeten the filling a bit more, but the next time I'm going to try adding honey instead for a natural sugar and to make an even gooier filling.
2. I'll probably add even more marmalade to the filling, but I LOVE orange flavor!
3. On the same note, I'll probably add some of the orange's juice to the egg mixture. I did add a lot of orange zest though, and it was still really delicious.
4. For those of you who want a richer French toast, spread more filling on the bread and use half & half instead of skim milk in the egg batter.
(I just try to make everything as light as I can, but if I splurge that's how I would do it!)
5. Finally, using Brioche or French bread would be AMAZING with this! I also really love thick sliced, Texas toast bread for French toast!! Unfortunately I don't usually keep those breads at home, and since I always seem to make French toast on the fly, whole wheat or oatmeal bread it is for me.
This marmalade & mascarpone French toast is dreamy and such a treat to wake your family up to! The bright citrusy orange infusing the crispy bread and warm real maple syrup are all the right flavors to begin a special day. To make it really over the top, serve with an extra dollop of the marmalade-mascarpone cream on top or fresh whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar!
Marmalade & Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast
1/2 c. Mascarpone Cheese
You will have a little extra filling with this amount, or use it all for decadent goodness!
1 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. Orange Marmalade
Zest of 1 Orange, divided
4 slices thick-sliced Bread, a little dried out preferably
Approx. 1/4 c. Milk
Dash of Cinnamon
Splash of Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp. Butter
For the Filling:
In a small bowl, stir together the Mascarpone, sugar, marmalade, and half of the orange zest really well. Set it aside before you eat it all!
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg, milk, orange zest, cinnamon and vanilla until frothy. Set aside.
Take the filling and divide evenly between two pieces of bread for the richer version. For the delicious-lighter version, spread on about 2-ish Tbsp. (I didn't really measure this part out. I had enough filling left over for my toast the next couple of mornings!)
Top the "sandwich" with the other slice of bread.
Get a large skillet hot over medium heat. Once hot, put the pat of butter in the pan and swirl it around.
Place the bowl of egg mixture near the frying pan.
Dredge both sides of the sandwiches in the egg batter. The drier and thicker the bread is --such as artisan bread--, the longer it should set. (But even crusty French bread should not sit longer than 1 1/2 minute, in my opinion.)
Immediately place them in the hot buttered pan and fry each side until brown and crispy.
Cut the French toast diagnally and serve hot on the plate with warm real maple syrup and orange slices or berries. :)
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