1 cup milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon whole cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 vanilla bean
¼ teaspoon salt
2 strips lemon peel
2 slices brioche
1¼ inches thick
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Powdered sugar to garnish
¼ cup warm maple syrup
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
Blood orange or other seasonal fruit, peeled and sliced for garnish
¾ cup heavy cream
1½ cups crème fraîche
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla paste
1 tablespoon Crème de Pamplemousse Rose or other grapefruit liqueur
For the french toast
For the whipped crème fraîche
Make the french toast:
- Bring to boil both milks plus cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla bean, salt, and lemon peel. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and let steep 30 minutes.
- Strain milk mixture and whip in eggs. This is your custard.
- Place slices of bread in custard and let soak 2½ hours, turning bread every half hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat medium pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Once butter is melted, add one slice bread and sear on both sides until golden brown. Repeat with remaining butter and bread. Place both slices of French toast on cookie sheet and bake 8–10 minutes.
- Place hot French toast on plate. Dust with powdered sugar. Spoon maple syrup around bottom of French toast. Finish with dollop of whipped crème fraîche and sprinkle of toasted almonds. Arrange blood orange slices on top and serve.
Make the whipped crème fraîche:
- Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer to soft peaks.
- from Pastry Chef David Garcia from Cakes & Ale, Decatur, Georgia