Temps de cuisson: 20 Minutes Portions: 6
1 loaf of day-old French bread
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon sour cream
zest of an orange
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
sufficient oil for the griddle
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh ground
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
orange slices to garnish
Now, I use a tablespoon of Mexican vanilla (because I love the stuff, and because I tell my husband when we run out of Mexican vanilla, he has to take me on a cruise to Mexico for more!) It's probably not a whole tablespoon, but nearly so. Blend this vanilla into the cream cheese, powdered sugar, sour cream and orange zest. Mix well. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight, to let the orange flavor blend into the cream cheese mixture.
In the morning, mix eggs & milk, in a 1:1 ratio. (For two people, I use three eggs. I measure them into a measuring cup, and then pour in that much milk.) Whisk together with a little (you guessed it) Mexican vanilla. Madagascar will do, but please do NOT tell my husband!
Slice the day-old French bread into 1 & 1/2 inch thick slices. Cut a pocket into each slice and fill generously with the cream cheese mixture. Dunk into the eggs & milk blend, allowing your French bread to soak it up. Grill on an oiled, preheated griddle on medium heat. Sprinkle with a scant amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn once.
Dust with powdered sugar, garnish with fresh slices of orange, and serve immediately with warmed maple syrup. Looks lovely garnished with a bit of the orange zest, too, if you have some nice long pieces.
P.S. This past year, Larry took me on a cruise that included a stop in Honduras. Of course, I found vanilla there. And Oh My! The Honduran vanilla is a completely different taste - fabulous! I use it exclusively in my French Toast recipes, and chocolate chip cookies. The taste is "darker" - yes, I know that sounds a little mystical and silly, but it's the first thing that came to mind when I got my first whiff of the stuff. Ok, I'll try again... It smells like it's already been spiced with cinnamon and cloves, maybe allspice. Anyway, it's delicious and if you find yourself in the Honduras, be sure you get some vanilla there.