Breakfast- Last Piece of Cake style!

I suppose you could call it breakfast.  After all, I ate it before midday, certainly before brunch, and a good deal earlier than elevenses.  Is it the best start to the day?  Well that depends on what you’re doing.  For me, it was perfect.

Some call it French toast, but in these parts, it is rather less romantically known as eggy bread.  I wonder how people would react to seeing that on a hotel menu.

I remember eating eggy bread with a good sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon and feeling incredibly satisfied.  It seemed to generate feelings similar to those brought on by eating lots of pancakes.  Lovely!

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve become determined to include vanilla paste in recipes recently.  My fantastic mum got me some last month and I can’t get enough of that dark, dotted, vanilla syrup.  It’s so intense and so wonderfully perfect for all kinds of sweet fun!  I knew that I would have to include it in my indulgent breakfast.  The following recipe is not recommended to those on a calorie controlled diet.

Vanilla French toast with raspberries

1 slice thick white bread

1 egg

3 tblspoons soft brown sugar

3 tblspoons caster sugar

1 tblspoon milk

handful of frozen raspberries

half tspoon vanilla paste

butter (for frying)

I prepared the raspberries by heating them in a milk pan with a little water (two or three tablespoons) and stirring in the caster sugar until it had dissolved.  I continued to heat the raspberries until they began to soften and resemble a chunky jam.

Next I  started to whisk the egg, milk and brown sugar together.  Then I stirred in the vanilla.  I poured this mixture into a bowl and then lay the bread in it to soak up the vanilla loveliness.  After that, I turned it over to soak up the remaining liquid.

In a frying pan, I heated some butter until it was beginning to froth and then placed the slice of bread in it.  I cooked this gently for a few minutes on each side until the egg was cooked through and the bread not soggy.

Taking it off the heat, I used a fish slice to transfer it to a plate and drizzled over the raspberries.  There are prettier breakfasts, but by now I’m sure you’ve come to realise that here at The Last Piece of Cake, it’s all about the taste.  Enjoy!

 

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Natural sugars don’t count- part 2: Raspberry & almond smoothie.

Some foods should not be tampered with.  Fresh, juicy tomatoes; a little salt, maybe some olive oil, but nothing more should detract from them.  Freshly made sweet pancakes; fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar to make them perfect.  Freshly baked bread; some good butter is all you need.

My problem, is that I mess things up by over-complicating them.  I look for new ways to enliven familiar dishes.  Putting twists on classic meals gives me a secret buzz, but inevitably ruins the meals I’m trying to bring to life.  There’s a reason that some things become “classic”.  They were good in the first place and they don’t require a tune up.  Why can’t I just leave things alone?

You know what I’m talking about, right?  That unnecessary topping on an otherwise perfect pizza.  One ingredient too many in the smoothie that would have been fine.  It’s sad to say, but I’m so guilty of messing up perfectly good combinations that it’s a wonder anybody in my family is still willing to try my creations.

There is, however, one bit of tampering that I don’t feel guilty about and one that yields good results every time.  It’s what I could refer to as “The Excess Sugar Technique”.  Spotting a legitimate opportunity for sugar, I simply crank up the amount until it is sweet enough to qualify as a dessert and therefore sweet enough for me.  Exhibit A; my raspberry and almond smoothie.

I realised that smoothies could be enjoyed in a way that is not really intended or endorsed by those with an interest in health.  It wasn’t long before I was having a ‘treat smoothie’ every now and again, instead of the usual healthy glass of fruit and yoghurt.  Far be it from me to recommend this as a regular alternative to your protein-packed blended wonders.  Instead, the next time you are feeling subversive, reach for the caster sugar and load up.

Raspberry & almond smoothie

300ml semi-skimmed milk

2 scoops raspberry ripple ice-cream

150g frozen raspberries

4 tblspoons caster sugar

2 tblspoons Greek yoghurt

1 tspoon almond extract

Blend everything together until smooth.  I sometimes add a couple of soft Amaretti biscuits before blending, but this is optional.