Sometimes the best kitchen discoveries aren't because of a fancy new pan or the latest addition to your cookbook library. Sometimes they happen by pure accident. Some of a chef's most cherished recipes probably came about from a careless error or minor mishap. That's what happened with the case of my English Muffin French Toast—a delicious mistake I will happily make again and again.
My fiance is currently working crazy long hours on set for a television show shooting in our area. He's up at 4 AM and sometimes not home until after midnight, so Monday through Friday we are like ships passing through the night. The maternal side of me hates he isn't getting 3 square meals or regular sleep. In an effort to nurture, I at least try to have the coffee maker set and fresh fruit and vitamins nearby, in hopes he will actually eat them.
A few Saturday's ago I decided to make him a proper breakfast to make up for all the ones missed during the week. He requested creamy grits, fried eggs, and bacon. Thinking that wasn't enough, I decided to throw French toast in for good measure (I needed some sweet to balance the savory). I started the oil, whipped up the batter and then, much to my horror, discovered my new bakery bread was already spoiled. Not ready to admit defeat, I assessed the pantry and went with the next best option: English muffins. I wasn't expecting much but figured it was better than nothing.
Then I took a bite. Sweet hallelujah! Turns out, English muffin French toast tastes mighty similar to a funnel cake, of all things. A seriously amazing funnel cake at that. All those nooks and crannies yield an unmistakable airiness, and the heavy-handed vanilla in the batter adds another flavor dimension that regular bread just can't do...
So a happy accident brought about a new favorite recipe in our house. One I can't wait to enjoy for many years through.
English Muffin French Toast
Serves 6 (recipe can be easily halved)
Canola or peanut oil, for frying
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons good-quality vanilla
6 English muffins, split in half
Powdered sugar and pure maple syrup, for serving
Turn oven on warming setting. Pour about 1/4 to 1/2-inch of oil into a large cast iron skillet (or heavy, flat-sided pan) and heat over medium-high until hot but not smoking.
Thoroughly whisk the milk, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together and pour into a shallow bowl (I use a cake or pie tin). Add 4 English muffin halves to the batter and soak, flipping frequently, until thoroughly saturated with liquid, about 1 minute.See also:
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