This entry is dedicated to Karen, my brunch-loving friend who will always have a soft spot for Oreos!
Has anyone else noticed this? Cardamom is everywhere now; in blogs, recipe books and other food-driven media. For centuries, Middle Easterners used this unassuming pod to flavor teas, coffees and the occasional desserts. Now, the humble cardamom pod has been given the 90210-celebrity treatment and is making its way to pantries around the world. If you need to see it to believe it, you could check out these blogs featuring delicious cardamom Christmas cookies and cardamom roasted cauliflower for yourself.
Sweet or savory, I love the lemony fragrance that Cardamom brings to the table. The idea of pairing cardamom with french toast came to me when my friend Desiree told me of this exquisite cardamom crème brûlée she had tasted in a restaurant. The way she described the fragrant cardamom undertone that the dessert carried through made me eager to experiment some more with the spice. I figured both, French Toast and Creme Brûlée, are custard-based so the cardamom pairing should adapt well.
Random Fact: In France, French Toast is called Pain Perdu, which literally means Lost Bread. This is because stale bread is traditionally used to make this dish and so it is a great way of using stale, or “lost,” bread.
This past weekend my friend Karen came to visit me in Ithaca now that it’s springtime no longer subzero. On Sunday we enjoyed the day together by climbing Cornell’s clock tower and making brunch. It was the perfect time to try out the Cardamom French Toast that I had been meaning to experiment with. Here is how it went:
Cardamom French Toast
(yields approx. 6 servings)
- 6 slices of challah bread
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. orange zest
- 1 tsp. cardamom, ground
- powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. butter
Putting them all together
- Mix the milk, eggs, honey, orange zest and cardamom in a bowl.
- Soak Challah slices in egg mixture.
- Melt butter in a large nonstick saute pan and cook the slices until golden brown on each side.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve alongside your favorite brunch items.