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MICHAEL SYMON Stuffed French Toast with Bacon Bourbon Maple Syrup

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Try this stuffed french toast with a twist!

ingredients
STUFFED FRENCH TOAST WITH BACON BOURBON MAPLE SYRUP
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup strawberry jam
1 lemon (zested)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sliced almonds (crushed)
Kosher salt (to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 loaf challah (sliced 1-inch thick)
BACON BOURBON MAPLE SYRUP:
3 strips bacon (medium dice)
2 ounces bourbon
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

directions
Preheat a griddle pan over medium heat.
In a large bowl, add the mascarpone, strawberry jam, and lemon zest, and mix to combine. In a piping bag, add the mascarpone mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.
Using a paring knife, cut through the bottom half of each piece of challah, not slicing all the way through. Pipe the mascarpone mixture into the cut challah, about 2-3 tablespoons. Repeat with remaining challah.
In a shallow baking dish, add the eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Season with salt.
On the griddle pan, add half of the butter. Dip each piece of stuffed challah into the egg mixture, coating both sides, then into the almonds, coating both sides, and add to the griddle. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes, add the remaining butter, flip the challah, and continue to brown on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove to a platter.
For the Bacon Bourbon Maple Syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Strain most of the bacon fat into a small bowl. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the bacon back into the pot, and add the bourbon. Let the bourbon reduce by half, and add the maple syrup and butter. Mix to combine and simmer until the butter has melted.
To Assemble: Place pieces of french toast on a platter and drizzle with syrup.
Tip: Stuff the challah slices the night before and keep chilled in the refrigerator. In the morning, dip in egg mixture and almonds and cook.

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