Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brioche French Toast with Maple Syrup Pears

Years ago I was discussing french toast with an American colleague.  "Really good french toast" she declared "must be made with Hawaiian Sweet Bread."  I had never heard of such a thing, so I in turn insisted that the best french toast is made with brioche which she had never heard of.  Some time later I made her brioche french toast at which point she declared that brioche was in fact Hawaiian Sweet Bread (I contend it is the other way around) and agreed that yes, it does make the best french toast.

I have no idea where this recipe came from. I have some vague idea of something in a magazine, but I think I have made it and played with it enough over the years that I think I can claim it as my own.

As french toast goes, this recipe is rich.  This is a recipe for a Sunday brunch, to be eaten slowly whilst sipping tea and reading the paper in the sunshine, before lazy walk.  In my family it is a public holiday meal, usually eaten closer to midday and filling enough to tide you over till dinner.  However you eat it, I think you will find it is delicious.

Note: This is one of those recipes that I generally make by chucking things in a pot, so all measurements are approximate and can be altered to suit your taste.  For example when making this for my aunts I would triple the amount of cinnamon and halve the sugar!

Brioche French Toast with Maple Syrup Pears
serves 2

2 pears (I prefer burre bosc or william)
50g butter
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 thick slices of brioche
2 large eggs (3 if they are small)
1 large tablespoon caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a good shake of cinnamon

Peel, quarter and core the pears.  Slice each quarter into 3-4 slices lengthwise.

Melt the butter, maple syrup and cinnamon together in a large pot until simmering, add pear slices and stir to coat.  Simmer over a gentle heat until the pears are soft and cooked through and the sauce is syruppy (about 10-15 minutes).

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  You really need to whisk the eggs hard to break them down so they are quite runny.  Put the brioche in a shallow tray and spoon half of the egg mixture over them.  Turn the brioche and spoon the remaining egg over so that they are completely soaked.

Heat a large non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and melt a little butter so it is sizzling.  Add the brioche.  It will be very soft and tear easily, so be careful when picking it up.  Cook till golden brown then flip and cook the other side (the second side will cook much faster).  You don't want to cook too fast because you want to cook all the egg that has soaked through the brioche.

Serve each person two slices of brioche topped with half the pear and the syrup.


  1. I love French toast, thanks for the recipe, Lisa. I like how you've used brioche.

    SSG xxx

    1. Thanks SSG. This really is delicious, might have to make it again this weekend (although we should be on a diet after Easter!)

  2. Mmm. I have been waiting for this! It looks just as delicious as I expected. I could see myself having this as a public holiday dinner but that may just be me :P

    1. I see nothing wrong with having this for dinner Kari. It has fruit and carbohydrate in it. Enjoy!

  3. Goodness! Heavenly! Amazing. Doesn't brioche make everything just blissful? I am yet to use it to make french toast though. & maple syrup pears?!?!? omg. done.
    Heidi xo