One of my fondest pre-pandemic memories was going out for brunch with my boyfriend on the weekends. One of our favorite places in San Diego where we enjoy getting our French toast from is the Hash-House a go go (their chilaquiles are also a MUST). There is something so special and decadent about their French toast. Their slices are the perfect thickness, griddled to perfection and dipped in a cinnamon/maple syrup concoction.
The French toast I am showing you how to make today is not an exact replica of Hash House a go go. Rather, it is an interpretation. And here is my twist: we are stuffing the French toast with orange-infused mascarpone cream to make it all that much more decadent. Mmmm!
Substitutions and Tips
- Nuts: Chopped pecans or slivered almonds make for a good topping and to add crunch!
- Fruits: I had fresh strawberries, bananas, and oranges on hand, but feel free to use what you have. I grilled banana halves with a little bit of butter while the French toast was cooking for some extra decadence. Plus, it’s more similar this way to how they serve French toast over at the Hash-House a gogo!
- Looking for a lightened version of the mascarpone cream cheese filling? I gotchu! In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract (or sub the vanilla extract for freshly squeezed orange juice). This results in more tart topping, but it’s also really good and light.
For the French toast egg mixture
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 6 slices of Brioche bread (I used this one with chocolate chips)
- ½ cup of milk (any type, I used almond milk)
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- Juice of one orange
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- Non-stick cooking spray or 2-4 tablespoons of butter (for grilling the French toast)
For the mascarpone stuffing
- ½ of a tub (4oz) of mascarpone cheese (I used this one)
- 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Zest of an orange
- Seasonal fruits (I had strawberries, oranges, and bananas on hand)
- Maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup
- Chopped nuts
- Mint sprigs
First, we will start by preparing the mascarpone stuffing. In a medium-size bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, orange zest, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix with a fork until well-combined and the consistency is super creamy and fluffy. Cover and set this aside.
Heat a non-stick griddle and bring the flame to a low-heat. In the meantime, combine the ingredients for the egg batter (except for the butter or non-stick cooking spray) and mix using an electric mixer or a fork. When the batter looks well-incorporated, you may add 1-2 brioche slices. Flip the slices to ensure they are soaked in the egg mixture.
Then, use butter or cooking spray to grease the griddle. The griddle is ready if you hear the butter or cooking spray sizzle, if not, wait a few more minutes. When ready, transfer the slices from the egg mixture into the pan and increase the heat to medium. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until the French toast is golden brown.
When fully cooked, transfer one slice to the plate. Spread mascarpone filling onto the slice. You may also add strawberry slices, then top with another slice. Add desired toppings –I added more strawberries, blueberries, a dollop of mascarpone cream, a grilled banana and maple syrup. Enjoy!