There’s only a couple of days left until Christmas! I feel pretty good about the state of my gift shopping, but I’ve been terribly indecisive about what to make for our annual family Christmas lunch. Making desserts used to be my thing. It was a way to learn new cooking techniques and use my creativity, and I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen every weekend to create something new. And for special occasions, there is nothing I love more than bringing a dessert to share with family and friends.
However these days for wacky experiments, interesting food styling and cool flavour combinations, I have been loving making brunch dishes and healthy snacks. Instagram-worthy brunches have been crazy popular in Sydney for the last few years, from interesting twists on the humble pancake, to OTT milkshakes, and smoothie bowls that look like a work of art.
Now we are spoiled for choice and can go out for a cafe brunch any day, but there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about waking up early on Christmas Day back at Mum and Dad’s house (now that I’m long moved out) and having a fancy breakfast like we did on special occasions when we were kids. I think it’s a lovely way to start the day around the festive season, taking some time together before the day gets full of activity.
And so I bring you Gingerbread French Toast! I wanted to make a festive brunch dish with warming Christmas spices – fresh and ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean (my absolute favourite) along with golden syrup and brown sugar for real gingerbread vibes.
Fresh berries are a must, especially at this time of year when they are in season and so beautiful. If you are in the northern hemisphere and can’t get hold of fresh berries, I’d recommend turning any frozen berries or cranberries you have into a warm compote with some of the same spices as in the french toast mix and drizzling that over the top – delicious!
I’ve also taken a little inspiration from one of my favourite cafes The Tiny Giant in Petersham and piled this french toast up high with Persian fairy floss. Okay, it’s a little bit extra, but I love it. This French Toast looks so pretty, but it also tastes amazing. Just don’t forget to Instagram it. I also just wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! Thank you for supporting this little blog again in it’s 10th year!!
Gingerbread French Toast
- 8 slices brioche, preferably a day or two old
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup or molasses
- Butter, for frying
- Fresh berries
- Persian fairy floss
- Maple syrup
Whisk the eggs and cream in a bowl or jug. Add the fresh and ground ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar and golden syrup. Whisk until combined and then pour into a shallow dish.
Soak slices of brioche in the spiced egg mixture for 30 seconds each side and cook in a pre-heated frypan with a little butter melted. I cooked the slices on a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining slices of brioche. Serve topped with maple syrup, fresh berries and Persian fairy floss.