Sunday, October 18, 2015

Nigella Lawson's "Doughnut" French Toast--When Your Inner Child (or Inner Donut Lover) Needs a Hug

The sugar patrol will get me for this one. French toast with plenty of vanilla, dredged in sugar for a donut-like experience. It's the ultimate comforting breakfast or midnight snack that is the epitome of Nigella Lawson recipes--simple food that is comforting, decadent and calls to my inner child. Since we have a new monthly feature at I Heart Cooking Clubs where we make a dish from one of our previous IHCC chefs and my inner child was in serious need of a hug this week, it seemed like the perfect pick.

Nigella was the fist official IHCC chef and I made many memorable dishes both when we cooked with her and after. Too many to mention properly) but you can see them by checking out the Nigella tab on my side bar labels list. (And, if you are looking for a savory version of true Nigella decadent comfort you should check out her Cheddar Cheese Risotto--I still think about this one!)

But I digress, so back to the Doughnut French Toast... I went to Nigella's website to find a recipe for this week and saw this French Toast--which I remembered from Nigella Express--and immediately got a craving for it. I only really get a craving for a doughnut a couple of times a year but something about this sugary breakfast treat called to my inner child. I had some bread getting slightly stale, local eggs, Maui cane sugar, and some homemade vanilla from my sweet friend Kat. Nigella mentions that you can make a strawberry sauce to serve with the toast but I served mine with fresh raspberries.

Nigella says, "My weaknesses are mainly savoury - think salt and vinegar crisps or cheese and biscuits - but there are times when only a doughnut will do. This craving can get desperate late at night when the shops are shut, and even if they weren't, none of them sells the kind of doughnuts I dream of. This is my way of assuaging my appetite, appeasing my need or, perhaps more accurately, feeding my addiction. Hot chocolate on the side is always worth considering, but just - just! - by itself this is sublime succour."

Doughnut French Toast 
From Nigella Express and
(Serves 2)
2 large eggs
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
4 slices white bread (from small loaf or 2 slices from large loaf) each slice cut in half
2 Tbsp butter
1 drop vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup superfine sugar

Beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla in a wide, shallow bowl.

Soak the bread halves in the eggy mixture for 5 minutes a side.

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, and fry the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched in parts on both sides.

Put the sugar on a plate and then dip the cooked bread in it until coated like a sugared doughnut.

Notes/Results: Oh yeah, this is a tasty one and so easy that I fear that I may be pulling this recipe out more often than I should. I cut off the crusts of my sourdough bread and trimmed down the size a bit, and it made each piece soak up the egg/milk mixture completely while still staying crisp on the outside. I didn't have milk on hand so I used some non-dairy almond milk creamer which worked fine. I love how prominent the vanilla flavor was in this French Toast. (Mahalo Kat for my bottle of homemade vanilla extract--it was well-used here!) I had this for breakfast but I could easily see pulling a Nigella and sneaking out to the kitchen at midnight to make this (along with her suggestion of hot chocolate on the side) as it is so simple and so easily made from the pantry. ;-)

Ellie Krieger is our current IHCC chef--so back to some healthier fare next week. If you want to see what Nigella recipes everyone made this week, just check out the picture links on the post.


  1. glad you were able to use it:)

  2. Hi Deb, this is a great idea for my son's breakfast! Thanks!

  3. Wow. I had that cheddar cheese risotto pulled but made something else last minute. THEN yesterday Doug sees sourdough bread at Fresh Market and we bought done for French toast today.
    We are thinking alike, you and I. This is our last day of vacation so it's French toast for us too :-)

  4. What sugar patrol? I've ate about 4 pieces of pumpkin cake this weekend so you're safe with me;) This recipe has always been on my radar. I put it off simply for the reason that I know I will make it once and then crave it always. You've executed it perfectly and it looks so pretty with the berries. I also like the idea of dipping it into hot chocolate or do I dare say drizzling some melted chocolate on top.
    P.S. Thanks for reminding me of Nigella's midnight fridge raids. It gave me a chuckle. I had completely forgot about that.xo

  5. I love this French toast, Deb. I discovered this recipe a couple of years ago, and it's pretty much the only way I make French toast now. It does for sure satisfy doughnut cravings and definitely appeals to the inner child. Great photos too, Deb.

  6. You and Nigella have set up the perfect mood for a decadent french toast like this. A little sugar does not hurt from time to time. Take an extra bite for me.

  7. Trust me, I can have this anytime of the day. This is definitely something up my road. Yummilicious!! Sugar? Heck it haha

  8. This is the perfect breakfast treat! I do not make french toast very often, and this looks good! So many of Nigella's recipes I have bookmarked to try, and this is one of them. Must try this one of these days! :)

  9. Nothing wrong with a good dose of sugar now and then. It IS a natural ingredient after all. This looks perfect for a sugar craving. Down with the Sugar Patrol!!!


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