October 6, 2012

a lil francophilia


Were the French the first to dip thick slices of bread into an eggy batter and fry them up? Some say yes, some say no, and we'll probably never know for sure. Regardless, one of the most popular breakfasts in America will always be known as French toast.


It seems like every culture has some variation of French toast (and the legitimacy of these is questionable, as I found it all on Wikipedia):

*In Germany, the dish is called Arme Ritter ("poor knights") and is sometimes filled with plum jam or vanilla sauce. If it's made with wine instead of milk, it's referred to as Betrunkene Jungfrau, "drunken virgin." Ha.
*In Italy, a variation is served as mozzarella in carrozza ("mozzarella in carriage"). In this version, a slice of fresh mozzarella is sandwiched between two slices of bread and the whole dipped in egg and fried. It is often topped with a tomato sauce and garnished with some chopped parsley and grated cheese to make three broad stripes of green, white and red, the colors of the Italian flag.
*In India, the version is savory rather than sweet, and the egg is beaten with milk, salt, green chili, and chopped onion. Bread is dunked into this mixture and is deep fried in butter or cooking oil. It's normally served with ketchup.



Why should you care? You shouldn't. I just try to spread the knowledge. Plus, I like French toast. I like it so much, I tried to transition it into cupcake form.

The cake part is of the fluffy and moist coffee cake variety, and the streusel imparts the cinnamon-vanilla aspect that is oh-so-important in French toast. Adding a little maple syrup to the frosting took care of that part of the equation, and the bacon on top is there simply because bacon goes so well with a plate of French toast (and anything and everything else that's edible).


The plain truth is that these tasted nothing like French toast. The texture was (obviously) wrong and the flavor just wasn't close either. Does that upset me? Not at all, because even though these cupcakes bore no resemblance to French toast, they were extremely delicious and fun.

Any pointers or suggestions for my next attempt?

French Toast Cupcakes
Makes 24
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups sour cream
Streusel topping:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces butter
Maple buttercream frosting
3-4 pieces of bacon, cooked until crispy, drained, and chopped

Directions:
To make the streusel topping, whisk the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or with your hands).
Place the streusel topping in the fridge until ready to be used.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin pans with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Beat together the butter and the sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs and beat until completely combined; mix in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, and then fold in the sour cream.
Evenly fill the prepared cupcake cups, then sprinkle on the streusel topping, pressing it in a bit as you go.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Cool completely.
Make the frosting as instructed and generously apply it to the cooled cupcakes.
Sprinkle chopped bacon atop each cupcake.

46 comments:

jose manuel said...

Que miga y que esponjoso se ve.

Saludos

Foodycat said...

They do look good! In Spain they make torrijas which is soaked in a boozy syrup after it is cooked. So good!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Here it's called "Pain Perdu" ("Lost Bread")... A delightful treat!

Cheers,

Rosa

Danielle Imstuffed said...

maybe you have to fry the cupcake, coated in egg...never mind. I'd rather eat it the way you made it and have french toast on the side if I craved it that much. Looks like a delicious cupcake! And that bacon on top? ya...thats what makes it ok to eat for breakfast even. :)

Beth said...

What a great idea! Whether or not it tastes like the real thing, it definitely sounds like it was worth making.

Guru Uru said...

Breakfast on the run never looked more appealing :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Gloria said...

yummy yumm Grace!!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I'd rather have these for breakfast than French toast any day. :)

My Kitchen Stories. said...

Oh I love the info you've found and the actual cupcake looks much better than french toast. Yum!

Carolyn Jung said...

LOL You could be like the fancy chefs these days and call it "Deconstructed French Toast.'' ;)

Sue/the view from great island said...

I wish I were the person assigned to take that bite out of all your cupcakes for the photo shoots!

PG said...

Haha - if Sue is assigned to take the bite, I'll finish the rest of it off after you take the picture.

I love french toast. I was hoping my husband would suggest it for breakfast tomorrow. Alas, it sounds like he wants it tomorrow (we have a long weekend for Canadian Thanksgiving).

Susan said...

My mouth is watering just looking at that picture!

Susan

Erica said...

We have a Colombian version of French Toast and it is fantastic !!!!Your cupcakes look delicious....I prefer these small bites for my breakfast!!!!

Velva said...

The cupcakes rock! French toast or not, these little cupcakes would be gone at my house.

Cheers.
Velva

Kerstin said...

What an interesting idea - sorry they didn't turn out perfectly, but they certainly still sound yummy! And now I'm craving French toast.

Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

Even though this cupcake does not taste like french toast, it's still very delicious.

Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

Delicious, Grace! Love the sprinkling of bacon on top!

Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe well I like your attitude! Nothing wrong here at all! :D

cquek said...

What a gorgeous recipe.

Barbara said...

This is definitely one of your best inventions, Grace. We LOVE French toast...who could resist these muffins?

Leslie said...

I tried a "french Toast" Cupcake a while ago, and it too didnt taste like french toast. So no pointers from me.
I bet they were still scrumptious!

lisa is cooking said...

Sreusel topping and maple buttercream?! Well-played, indeed.

Rosita Vargas said...

Estupenda receta me gusta está esponjoso y rico,abrazos y abrazos.

kellypea said...

Well if I wasn't full of carrots and quinoa right now, I'd be all over a couple of these lovelies. French toast and I have a long standing relationship whose flames don't need much fanning. Luscious -- especially that streusely part. Mmm...

tamilyn said...

"Drunken Virgin"=that is my favorite. Actually, there were a few of those on my my senior prom night. And now they are 27 year old adults!

Streusel, it must mean yummy in every language!

Lori said...

I remember when I was 13, my friend and I went to a restaurant, Big Boys, across from where we were suppose to be going to one of our classes. My Mom actually let me (what a rebel she was). I had their French toast. It was huge. I have never seen French toast that big since.

ChopinandMysaucepan said...

Dear Grace,

I doesn't quite matter what it is called as long as it is delicious :)

Joanne said...

I love french toast...so glad the french brought it to the US. :P These cupcakes sound fabulous!

Mimi said...

I have to agree who needs french toast if you could have a cupcake like this.
Mimi

Pam said...

They may not taste like French toast but they look and sound AMAZING to me!

Katerina said...

I think especially now with the internet food had become global just like so many other things! These cupcakes look like something I would definitely enjoy either as breakfast or afternoon snack!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Hmm I like that the insides of french toast is almost custard like, while the outside is crispy - so maybe you can try stuffing it with something custardy and moist, then broiling/torching it to get the crunch outside?

I Wilkerson said...

But if we call them French Toast Cupcakes we can eat them for breakfast, right?

Robin Sue said...

Wai, Wai Wai Wai Wait a minute here. You made a fluffy cupcake with Streusel topping AND frosting? You are AMAZING! This is the greatest invention ever!!!!

Marjie said...

Breakfast in cupcake form. Sounds like the way to get picky eaters to enjoy breakfast.

Faith said...

I love all those international variations of French toast! I'm definitely going to try a savory version soon.

The cupcakes look killer either way! Hmm, maybe a little drizzle of maply syrup right on top would help? Or a more eggy batter? Let us know if you do some experimenting -- I'm curious now! :)

foodhoe said...

well for starters, I loved learning about different countries versions of french toast! The streusel cinnamon part is true genius and I'm with Faith that maple syrup drizzled on top sounds amazing!

Lisa-Marie said...

In the UK, it's often just called eggy bread. These look so good!

Lisa-Marie said...

In the UK, it's often just called eggy bread. These look so good!

cakewhiz said...

this is something new for me but definitely a "good new" and something i am itching to try soon :D

Rosita Vargas said...

Hermoso y delicioso amiga el pastel de calabaza está espectacular una gran receta que adoro,abrazos hugs,hugs.

Laura said...

I agree, who cares, they look delicious! I love French toast too. :)

Loved Nashville but am kinda meh on Arrow, although I will give it another ep. Did I ask if you loved Last Resort? Also, I quit on 666, it just did not sustain my attention. :(

Nic said...

Yeah, who cares, they look great, and I love the little swirl of icing on the top with the streusel bits!

Half Baked said...

That cupcake looks better than any french toast I've ever had! Loving that pocket of streusel!

Julie M. said...

Based on those pictures I can't see a single thing I would change. It looks friggin' amazing!