Montréal is a city that loves brunch. When things were still normal, on a nice weekend morning you could walk around and see lines of people waiting to brunch their mornings away. There is a brunch spot in Montréal called L’Avenue, and it is one of the most popular spots in the city. It was rare to be able to get there after 9 am on any given morning and not have to wait in line. I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that they make the best French toast on earth. I typically am not a French toast person, nine times out of ten I will prefer pancakes; however not when I’m at L’Avenue.
Since the pandemic started, I haven’t had any brunch that I haven’t made myself. I feel as though brunch food is a lot harder to get as takeout. To me, brunch is not only about the food but also the experience: to brunch means to start out your day by treating yourself. It is to relax in the morning over a nice cup of coffee with your friends and family while waiting for a delicious breakfast you did not have to labour over.
So, as you can imagine, the French toast from L’Avenue has been on my mind. I started to reflect on what made them so good. They’re thick, they’re moist all the way through and they have a nice crispiness on the outside. With this vision in mind, I set about making the best French toast at home. I think I’ve perfected the recipe for high quality French toast, but with a twist. They are soaked in eggs, but with a version of turmeric golden milk. We get a delicious French toast with a different flavour profile. Hopefully you can start off a lazy weekend morning with this recipe!
Active time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 4-6 thick cut slices of favourite bread (dried in advance, see first step)
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp dried ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 eggs
- Butter, to cook in
- Maple syrup, whip cream, etc. to top french toast
- We need very dry bread. A day or two in advance, cut 4-6 thick slices of bread, about 2 cm thick. Lay them out on a wire rack until ready to cook. If your bread is fresh and you need to speed up the drying process, start your oven to the lowest temperature (about 170F), and once hot, turn it off and put the toast in directly on the wire racks. This process can be done the night before brunch or the morning of.
- Make the egg mixture. In a bowl whisk together the coconut milk, turmeric, dried ginger, cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and eggs. Pour into a sheet pan with a high edge or into a large casserole dish where all your bread slices can soak. Soak your bread in the mixture for at least 15 minutes, flipping occasionally. We want almost all the egg mixture to be absorbed deep into the bread. You will have liquid leftover.
- Start a cast iron skillet, or another large pan, on medium-low heat. Add about 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet for every set of 2 french toast you make. Cook, covered, for about 8-10 minutes flipping once halfway through. Cover the French toast to ensure that the inside of the bread is well cooked. The outside should be golden brown but not burned. Serve with maple syrup and whip cream, enjoy while warm!