Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Panettone French Toast with Cherry Compote and Brandied Mascarpone

One last post before I sign off for Christmas and New Year!

This is my own recipe for very festive and very decadent french toast. To me, this is Christmas on a plate because it combines so many of the ingredients and flavours associated with this time of year. Italian Christmas bread, cherries, cinnamon, orange, brandy... all my favourite Christmas flavours! It is rich, but if you can't have this at this time of year, when can you have it?! This recipe works a treat with stale panettone, so if you find yourself with panettone leftovers after Christmas, you'll know just how to transform them into something really special :)

For this dish, I believe the key is to getting the compote right. The compote needs acidity to cut through the sweetness of the other components, so make sure you taste it. How much sugar you need will depend on how sweet/tart the cherries are so taste as you go, and add sugar as required.

Panettone French Toast with Cherry Compote and Brandied Mascarpone
an original Diary of a Ladybird recipe
(serves 2)

4 pieces Panettone (I cut a 1.5cm round of my panettone by cutting it horizontally then cut into 4)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.5 cups pitted cherries
caster sugar, to taste (see method)
lemon juice

125g mascarpone
1 tablespoon icing sugar, plus extra to serve
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons brandy
maple syrup (optional)

1. In a wide shallow dish, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Add the panettone to the mixture and let sit for about 10 minutes to absorb the liquid. Turn once midway. Meanwhile, make the compote and mascarpone.

8 pieces pictured as recipe doubled in this instance
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cherries with 1 tablespoon water, a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of caster sugar, adding more if desired. Simmer covered and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.
3. Combine the mascarpone, zest, icing sugar and brandy in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Heat a large fry pan over medium heat with a little olive oil and a nob of butter. Take the panettone pieces from the dish removing any excess liquid, then cook in the pan on both sides, cooking until golden.
5. To serve, place 2 pieces of panettone on each plate, topped with the cherry compote and a dollop of mascarpone, followed by a dusting of icing sugar and maple syrup if desired.

Buon appetito and merry Christmas! See you in 2014! :)

Anna xx

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