Spice Dad Guest Post: Cinnamon Nutmeg Vanilla French Toast

There is something about breakfast that has the power to lure a dad into the kitchen with often delicious results. I am, therefore, ultra excited to introduce our first ever Spice Dad guest blogger, Bryan Turpin. Bryan is a wonderful dad, a branding/marketing guru and the best breakfast maker I know. The first time my husband Shariff and I had Bryan's pancakes, we knew he had to open a restaurant, if only so we could access them whenever we had a craving. Here, Bryan shares a recipe for a simple yet jazzed up version of one of his favorite breakfast classics.

Spice Dad Guest Post
Bryan Turpin

BryanPic1.jpg

Try this new twist on the go to breakfast favorite – French Toast.  Incorporating a few spices and using bakery fresh bread sets this recipe apart from the Wonderbread (sliced sandwich bread) version I grew up eating. This recipe combines cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, which add depth, warmth and complexity to a very simple recipe. Vanilla has the added effect of amplifying the cinnamon and nutmeg while softening the egg flavor. Apart from the spices, it’s all about the bread. And the softer and fresher, the better. For me, white bread yields a better taste versus wheat or whole grain which overpower the subtle flavors of the dish. In fact, French toast is a great excuse to experiment with your favorite kinds of bread. Living in New York, fresh challah bread is widely available so that was my go-to choice.  But now that I’m in Hong Kong, there is a nice Danish bakery that makes a buttery soft, flaky bread that works perfectly. I hope you and your kids enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

RECIPE

Science Corner
As discussed in a previous post on the science-backed health benefits of cinnamon, this miracle spice can temper the effect of sugar on the body. Studies on type II diabetics have shown that even less than 1/2 a teaspoon a day of cinnamon for 4 months reduces blood sugar levels. There is evidence that cinnamon improves the function of insulin, the hormone that coaxes our cells to soak up blood sugar and use it for energy. Rice pudding flavored with cinnamon spikes blood sugar less than bland rice pudding. It's no wonder then that we encourage the use of cinnamon in any carb-heavy, sugary treat and this delicious French Toast is no exception! 

Yield
2 adult and 1 toddler portions
 
Ingredients
1 loaf of challah or soft white bread (unsliced)
3 Eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon  cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Maple Syrup
Fresh fruit (banana or berries)
 
Method
Crack eggs into a shallow square bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the milk and stir with a fork until mixed. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Stir again until well mixed and set aside.

Cut off the ends of the challah bread. Cut the middle section into ¾ inch thick slices.
 
Heat griddle (or frying pan) on medium heat. Once water sizzles and evaporates the pan is ready. Brush the pan with butter. 
 
One piece of bread at a time, dip into egg mixture until both sides are well coated, and place onto hot, buttered griddle. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh blueberries or a few slices of banana and a drizzle of maple syrup. Some powdered sugar is also a nice touch.