If you are trying to eat healthy or diet I urge you to look away. This decadent Raspberry-Cinnamon-Cream Croissant French Toast is not the way to go. Sure, it contains eggs, yogurt and fresh fruit but that is not enough to off-set the butter and cream. Between it and the indulgent and boozy Kahlúa Latte Milkshake posted earlier this week, the 'mostly healthy' tagline on my blog is taking a beating. (Lucky for my arteries I made single portions of both) ;-)
Still, if you want to treat yourself, this croissant, made into the flakiest of French toast, both sides spread lightly with raspberry preserves, the bottom piece topped with a cloud of spiced whipped cream and yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh raspberries, then crowned with the croissant top and another poof of the cream will do it. Quick and easy, but still special enough for a party or even a fancy Paris-themed bridal shower like the one in the movie Bridesmaids, our Food 'N Flix May selection hosted by at Evelyne at Cheap Ethnic Eatz.
I saw Bridesmaids when it came out and have since caught parts of it on TV (although a lot gets edited or cut when it isn't on cable), so it was fun to get it from Netflix and watch the whole thing again. Kristen Wigg is hilarious as Annie--her life heading quickly toward bottom with the closure of her bakery, her strange British roommates, and her not emotionally satisfying love life--featuring booty calls with a good-looking but jerky guy (John Hamm). She wants to be happy for her longtime and very best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) when she gets engaged and asks Annie to be her maid of honor, but it's hard, especially when a new friend to Lillian and one of the bridesmaids, Helen (Rose Byrne), wants to take her place in the wedding and in Lillian's heart. The humor is pretty crude at times but often laugh-out-loud funny--how can it not be with Wigg, Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper and the rest of the cast? Still, while raunchy on the outside, at its heart it's a movie about friendship and pulling yourself back up when life has you down. If you haven't seen it, Bridesmaids is a great film to watch when you need a good girl-power chuckle. Just be prepared to have it's 'anthem' of Hold On by Wilson Phillips stuck in your head for the next few days.
For food inspiration, it was pretty clear that the Brazilian restaurant and the subsequent bridesmaid dress shopping with food poisoning didn't make me feel like cooking or eating. Annie is a baker so I was going to go that route but then I decided to make something that might be served at the lavish bridal shower brunch that wealthy Helen hosts, stealing Annie's Paris-theme idea and taking it completely over-the-top. I thought of French toast and wanted to make a fruit-stuffed version, then I started thinking of making it with croissants, raspberries, and a version of the fabulous mix of spices and whipped yogurt, cream and mascarpone that accompanied Yotam Ottolenghi's Fruit Crumble Cream.
Raspberry-Cinnamon-Cream Croissant French Toast
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2, easily increased to serve more)
2 croissants, each split carefully into 2
splash of cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
pinch of salt
maple syrup to taste (or sugar or other sweetener of choice)
butter to cook with
good, thick raspberry jam or preserves
Spiced Cream (recipe below)
fresh raspberries, rinsed gently and well drained/dried
In a large shallow pan or bowl, beat eggs until thoroughly mixed. Add a splash of cream, cinnamon, extract, a pinch of salt and maple syrup to taste and stir together until blended. Heat a large pan over medium-low and add butter. Dip each croissant half into the egg mixture until coated--turning to get both sides covered. Let excess egg mixture drip off and once pan is ready, add croissant halves, cut side down. Cook 3-4 minutes (taking care that they don't brown too quickly or too darkly) and when nicely browned, turn over and cook the other side 3-4 minutes or until brown and croissant is warmed through. Set aside for a few minutes--you want they warm but not piping hot to assemble.
To Assemble: Spread each cut side of croissant lightly with raspberry preserves. Place bottom half of croissant on plate. Spoon spiced cream mixture on top in a nice cloud. Top cream with fresh raspberries. Gently place the top of the croissant (already spread with the jam) on top at a slight angle to make it pretty. Top with a final small scoop of the cream and garnish with fresh berries. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi
(Makes a heaping cup+)
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp thick Greek yogurt
4 Tbsp cream cheese (Ottolenghi's recipe used mascarpone, I went cheaper) ;-)
1 tsp super-fine sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 ground cardamom
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to soft
peaks, taking care not to over-whip (it is quite thick to begin with,
show it shouldn't take more than 30 seconds or so).
Notes/Results: Yep, this one is a keeper with all of the wonderful flavors and textures going on. It's good combination of sweet and tangy--the whipped cream is not too sweet and the cinnamon in the French toast plus the cinnamon and cardamom in the whipped cream add flavor complexity. A bite with each component coming together and topped with a fresh raspberry is pretty heavenly. I would happily make this again when I'm in the mood for an indulgent brunch treat.
Of course I am right at the wire for the Food 'N Flix deadline (today)! But, if you missed out this month and you love food, movies and foodie movies, come join us for June when we will be watching Cher and Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck, hosted by the wonderful Debra of Eliot's Eats.