French toast is great for weekend breakfasts, especially with company. It takes more time to prepare but its elegant taste and look is making up for the extra time. There are more steps in making a French toast than a piece of toast, or oatmeal or smoothie for the morning wake-me-up. This french toast breakfast dish, especially, is more than a meal, it is a project. But it’s a fun-filled and entertaining one as you turn your kitchen into what seems like a science lab. You line up all the equipments: Vitamix, whipping siphon, mixer, microwave, timer. Contrary to what you’d expect with most projects, this one takes very little time to materialize. Instant gratification, perhaps, for the most attention deficient among us.
We made french toast with brioche bread that came out from a whipping siphon and a microwave oven. (More about the microwave brioche can be found in an earlier post here.) That took 5-10 minutes, not hours that would normally require to bake the traditional brioche bread. For that reason, I don’t want to make brioche the convectional way just to use it for French toast. More importantly, the butter content is usually 40-60% of flour weight in traditional brioche bread, way too rich for me. If you are not a baker, you would be pleased to showcase a brioche bread made with less time than it takes getting all the ingredients in place. No one would know, and I won’t tell, that you did not labor in the kitchen for hours making the bread.
The red sauce was made with fresh berries and blitzed in a high-power blender to make it ultra smooth, no straining was necessary. The most unusual of all, we made non-dairy whip cream without the heavy cream.
The vegan cream came from a can of chickpea, whipped up in a mixer following a breakthrough approach that you’re likely to hear more about in the future. It’s a game changer. The cheat sheet below provides the details how to make it. The steps are straight forward. Quite incredibly, cloud-like, light and glossy white cream emerges from the beige soapy liquid that you normally throw out from a can of chickpea. However, don’t expect it to taste like real cream. The vegan whip cream retains the beany taste and aroma. Visually, you may not be able to tell the difference.
It is so cool to watch the chickpea liquid whipping up to stiff peaks. I read about it in the New York Times article, “the chickpea takes on the egg,” and learn about aquafaba, a liquid substitute for egg whites. A light bulb went off and I started my own experimentation. You might want to call this: chickpea whip cream, aquafaba cream or vegan whip…. Whatever it is, there is no denying, it works perfectly.
Food Revolution Day is coming this week on May 20th. It is a day for global action spearheaded by Jamie Oliver to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about healthy food and how to cook it. The main goal is to get everyone everywhere to join Jamie’s revolution and to make a real difference to change our food system for the better.
This week at IHCC, we are making breakfasts. I adapted Curtis Stone’s cinnamon french toast recipe and took a spin in a more healthful direction in support of Jamie’s food revolution. All the elements of the cinnamon french toast were there: the berry red sauce, the brioche and the cinnamon sugar on top. I substituted the optional crème fraîche with the vegan whip cream. The final plate has less fat, less sugar and less calories, but high on the fun factor and the reward of discovery and community. The original recipe can be found here.