Cinnamon French Toast Kebabs with Homemade Maple Syrup
I am one of those freakishly annoying people that leaps out of bed at 6am and is ready to start the day with a smile on my face. Speaking from personal experience, that kind of cheerful morning psychosis is likely to 1) get you bitch-slapped by the non-morning people in your life, and 2) require some type of food- or caffeine-based fuel to keep you going as the morning hours wear on. To avoid the very real dangers of ‘snooze rage’, I often escape to the refuge of my kitchen, hoping to craft something there that will make all those friends and family I just woke up forget my highly nauseating AM glee.
On most mornings, however, I’m lucky if I fit in a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea before I’m off to do other things. Breakfast innovation has pretty much flown out the window these days, but I was intent this week on trying these French Toast Kebabs – originally featured in the June 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine – with my mum’s amazing recipe for homemade maple syrup.
I’ve always loved good French Toast, and I’m a bit of a sucker for any food that’s presented in a unique or unusual way. Who ever would have thought to kebab French toast?! Is ‘to kebab’ a real verb? Well … no. But that doesn’t take anything away from how tasty and easy these were! This breakfast takes no more than 20 minutes from start to finish, and was a welcome alternative from the slightly boring culinary beginning to most of my days.
And bitch-slappers beware, you’ll rue the day you abused your chef!
CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST KEBABS
12 wooden skewers, 10 to 12 inches in length
1 loaf day-old pain au levain, cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 cup whole milk
4 fresh eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Homemade maple syrup (recipe follows), to serve
Melted butter, to serve
Confectioner’s sugar, to serve
1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes. Drain, set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk milk, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Add bread and stir to coat. Thread onto skewers.
3. Grill, covered, on a well-oiled cooking grate over medium heat (about 350 degrees) until browned, turned once, about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with warm maple syrup, melted butter and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
HOMEMADE MAPLE SYRUP
Makes: 1 cup syrup
1 cup water
1 3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure maple extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together water, caster sugar and brown sugar.
2. Bring mixture to a boil, add maple extract, vanilla extract and cream of tartar. Continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer to sterilized glass jar to cool. Syrup will be of a thinner consistency than commercial maple syrup.