Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Breakfast; Baked French Toast with Boysenberry Sauce and Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone

Christmas Breakfast isn't something I've made for awhile.  Kind of like how I haven't updated in awhile.  But I figured I should, since I made some pretty fancy things.  Baked French Toast, Boysenberry Syrup, Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone topping, and bacon.  The bacon wasn't fancy, but it was delicious.

My little brothers tried everything and even enjoyed it, which is a feat if you knew Ricky, the eldest of the two (pictures Right).  He hates vegetables, and things with strange flavours.  He only got interested in the Persimmons at the very end of the meal, and I had to beg him to try it with mascarpone. 

This was the first time I ever tried Persimmons myself.  Recently, I hung out with a really cool person in Los Angeles who was eating one, I kept thinking it was a weird tomato.  But he enlightened me (what a dope I am, especially for a food blogger).  I didn't try it then, but I later saw this recipe on Martha Stewart for the Broiled Persimmons and I was like, alright.  That's happening.  So it did.

I wanted something fairly easy to make in the morning, because I am also (currently) cooking Christmas dinner.  Thus the baked french toast, which really was easy, even if I ended up spending a lot of time making syrup and mascarpone cheese toppings and persimmons.  All of it was worth it, though, which usually ends up being the case.

Originally I also wanted to use Challah bread for the french toast, but as I came in basically on Christmas Eve, I didn't get to go to the store until then, and everything was sold out.  So I made do with half a french baguette (the other half we ate the night before with a variety of cheeses and meats) and half of a loaf of sourdough.  Both were good, but the french was better-- only, truly, because the sourdough came presliced and the slices weren't quite as thick as we would have liked.  Who cares, french toast is still delicious.

I think that the boysenberry sauce really made it, though.  And the persimmons.  The persimmons were divine, with their variety of sweet-mouth-puckering flavour.  The broiled honey created such a sweet glaze and the citrus dripped on top and whipped into the mascarpone all complemented each other.  Arf, there's one left, I'll probably eat it cold for breakfast tomorrow.

Anyway, I'll post later my Christmas dinner (maybe tomorrow).  It's pretty exciting, prime rib with thyme au jus.  Potatoes au gratin.  Roasted asparagus.  Balsamic roasted carrots and onions.  Yorkshire Pudding.  Pecan pie.  It seems so eclectic listed out!  But I'm excited.

I've never made prime rib before.  Eeeee, commence fingernail biting.

Baked French Toast

8 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grand mariner
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 loaf french baguette or sourdough bread
4 tablespoons butter
1 bag frozen boysenberries
1/4 cup sugar

Whisk together eggs, milk,  heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, grand marnier, salt and spices.  In a casserole dish (approximately 9x13) stack the sourdough, french, or combination bread.  Pour the egg mixture over the slices.  Allow to soak 30 minutes, turn over, and cover.  Refrigerate until the liquid is absorbed (I did it overnight).
>Oven at 350 Degrees.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with butter. With a spatula, carefully transfer soaked bread to sheet. Bake until French toast is set in center and lightly browned on the bottom, 25 to 30 minutes.  Set your oven to broil and briefly brown the tops of the toast.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the bag frozen boysenberries (or your choice of berries) and sugar.  Allow to simmer and mash with a wooden spoon for five to ten minutes, or until just slightly thickened.
Remove the french toast from a baking sheet, serve with sauce, sugar, butter, or your choices of toppings!

Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone
Recipe from Martha Stewart

3 ripe persimmons
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
crystalized ginger and/or turbinado sugar
7 oz mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat broiler, with rack 6 inches from heat.
Slice the persimmons in half crosswise. Place the halves cut side up in a baking dish and drizzle each half with honey. Broil until the tops are golden brown and caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately drizzle 1 tablespoon lime juice over the top.

While persimmons are broiling, whisk together the mascarpone, vanilla, and remaining tablespoon lime juice in a medium bowl. Serve persimmons hot, each half topped with a dollop of mascarpone mixture and sprinkled with ginger or sugar, if desired.  Or both, which is probably the right and best way to do it.

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