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Author Notes: When I was a kid, my mom would whip us up some quick French toast for dinner every now and then. For a single mother in grad school, feeding three hungry kids quickly and inexpensively was difficult enough, but she also had to keep us happy. We would pour powdered sugar and syrup all over the French Toast and create a sloppy, sugary paste. Now, though, I look for flavors that are a little more inventive while trying not to lose the ease. So I decided to play with some chai flavors and see what I could come up with. —PeteF
Food52 Review: What better way to start the day than with Chai French Toast! The combination of coconut milk and spices elevates the dish from classic to delicately fragrant bliss. Unsweetened coconut milk gives the custard-soaked bread a feeling of indulgence. The brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom provide the perfect flavors, but for a little extra chai heaven, be adventurous and include the anise seed and black pepper. You’ll be glad that you did! —SwoonMySpoon
cup coconut milk
tablespoons dark brown sugar
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground cardamom
teaspoon ground black pepper (optional, for the adventurous)
teaspoon ground anise seed (optional, for the adventurous)
tablespoons butter (melted)
slices of bread, preferably potato, preferably a little stale (or toasted at the lowest setting for a few minutes)
- Add everything but the bread to a blender and blend until homogenous. You can also whisk them together if you like -- just make sure the spice clumps get broken up. Pour into a shallow dish like a square cake pan or casserole dish.
- Soak the slices of bread in the egg mixture until they get nice and wet all the way through. Flip them over to make sure both sides get even distribution. Handle the bread gingerly at this point, as it's going to want to break up.
- Once the slices of bread have had a few minutes to soak on both sides, heat up a nonstick pan to a nice medium heat. Once the pan has reached temperature, melt some butter in it. Throw the slices of bread on there and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes per side. When you flip them, make sure you're gentle.
- The brown sugar should make the French toast sweet enough that you won't need syrup, but if that's your jam, go for it. You can totally serve these with some fresh mango, or berries if you like.