French toast is a breakfast and brunch favorite in my house. There is something about the simple ingredients of bread, eggs and milk that turn what should be a basic meal into something special. But why stop there? These pantry staples are just the jumping off point for endless possibilities of morning culinary fun.
Case in point is this stuffed French toast, adapted from the Noble Pig website that brings a touch of dessert to your morning meal without being overly sweet. The recipe is inspired by classic Italian cream filled dessert of cannoli. I’ve used my own cannoli filling recipe, infused with lemon zest and a touch of Grand Marnier. And to complete the dish, and give you a serving of fruit, I’ve topped the French toast with some of the juicy fresh strawberries that are just beginning to appear in my local markets.
CANNOLI FRENCH TOAST
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar plus more for dusting
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier, other orange liqueur or vanilla extract
12 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed
1 cup sliced strawberries
- Sift confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, then stir in ricotta cheese, lemon zest and nutmeg.
- In a shallow dish (a cake pan works well), beat the eggs, milk and Grand Marnier.
- Trim the crusts off 12 slices of sandwich bread and using a rolling pin, roll out the bread to flatten.
- Place 6 slices of bread on a flat surface then add 1 tablespoon of the ricotta cheese mixture to the center of each slice. Top with the remaining 6 slices of bread.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.
- Working in batches, dip the stuffed bread slices in the egg mixture and transfer to the skillet.
- Cook, turning once, until puffed and golden, about 3 minutes.
- Dust with more confectioners’ sugar and top with the sliced strawberries before serving.