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Raspberry Stuffed French Toast

Executive chef/managing partner Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York has been exploring variations on stuffed French toast. “I love breakfast—brunch, if you must—but French toast is always part of the menu. Lately I have been having fun with stuffed French toast: fruit and berries, Nutella, country ham. The fuller stuffed version is more interesting, a creative inspiration and fun for guests,” he says. Raspberry Stuffed French Toast is among his recent reinterpretations of the classic, made with brioche, stuffed with raspberry jam and dipped in a batter of heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon,
sugar, orange liqueur and eggs.

From: Managing partner and executive chef Michael Lomonaco, Porter House New York. Yield: 4 servings.

1 cup raspberry jam
8 slices brioche bread
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. instant dissolving sugar
¼ cup orange liqueur
4 eggs
4 Tbsp. melted butter
as needed for garnish, confectioners sugar
as needed, warm maple syrup
as needed for garnish, crème fraiche

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread a thin layer of jam on each slice of bread; form sandwiches with two slices of bread, jam on the inside of each.

In a bowl, combine cream, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, orange liqueur and eggs. Dip sandwiches into batter and soak briefly.

Over medium heat, place a nonstick skillet and melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Cook sandwiches in batches, cooking on both sides until golden, adding more butter to the pan for each batch.

Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and into the oven for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the batter to cook and the interior to heat. Cut the finished French toast into 2 diagonal pieces, place on a platter and dust with powdered sugar before serving. Serve with warm maple syrup and crème fraiche.

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