In my pantry there is…

a jar of vanilla paste.  It is something I started using years ago while working in pastry kitchens in California.  It adds a deeper flavor to sweet baked goods than vanilla extract.  Unlike delicate pods the paste comes in a jar.  There is little chance of it drying out.  (Aside – don’t throw out dried out vanilla pods.  Grind them with cane sugar to make ‘vanilla sugar’.)

I add it in the same measure as vanilla extract.  Tomorrow morning I will be using it in my favorite weekend breakfast recipes – Gale Gand’s French Toast.  It is  fool proof way to end up with a crispy, custard-y plate of Saturday morning happiness.

  • Eggs, 4 whole
  • Milk, 2 cups
  • Heavy cream, 2/3 cup
  • Vanilla paste, 1/2t
  • Cane sugar, 1/2c

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Set up your work station.  I work from left to right.  First there is the cutting board with the thick sliced brioche.  Next, the bowl with the custard mix. Then, the cast iron skillet.  Pre-heated, ready for action. The oven is also pre-heated to 325˚F.

The brioche slices go for a soak, get crispy, and finish baking in the oven.  It is simply served with butter and maple syrup.  Such a nice way to ease into the day.  🙂



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