french toast/french toast cups

I'm not sure why, but I love eating french toast more than any other breakfast food. (Even waffles!) Maybe it's that warmness, the soft inside, the crispy outside, the possibility of drowning it with maple syrup or barely topping it at all to fully taste the ingredients... In honor of the wonder that is French Toast, today's recipes are Simple French Toast and the only-slightly-more-complicated French Toast Cups.

Since being vegan I've only tried to make french toast twice from recipes - the complicated list of ingredients or long process stopped me from trying more. But that's unfair! Omnis only stir a couple ingredients together, whereas I was mashing tofu or heating up a cornstarch mixture or hunting down chickpea flour (apparently not available organic at my local whole foods, so I'm adding it to my wishlist for when my parents come visit me this weekend).

So I decided to make my own French Toast. And I made up a recipe and it was great. With a bananas and strawberry sauce:
Simple Vegan French Toast
(Makes 8 slices)

For Batter:
1 1/2 cups soymilk
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
up to 1 tbsp sweetener (maple syrup, agave, sugar, whatever)*
1/8-1/4 tsp turmeric, depending on how yellow you want it*
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

For Toast:
8 slices bread
oil for frying

Combine cashews and soymilk in a blender or food process and blend until smooth. If your blender is finicky like mine, add the cashews and half the milk, blend, then add the rest. Once smooth, add all of the other ingredients and blend until mixed. Adjust spices/sweetener to taste.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Pour milk/cashew mixture into a large bowl. Dip bread into the mixture one slice at a time, making sure each piece is good and slimy with batter. Fry slices on one side until brown (3-5 minutes), flip, fry until brown again (2-3 minutes). Serve with maple syrup, fruit, powdered sugar OR strawberry sauce (recipe to follow).

* - Note: turmeric is bitter, so the more you use, the more sweetener you'll want... plus the more you use, the more you'll taste turmeric in your french toast. delicious? maybe. but mostly weird.)

Another Note: when I made this I ended up with 10 slices' worth of batter, but I don't want to make any promises. I might just be stingier with my batter than you will be. And the batter, by the way, is so tasty I "adjusted to taste" way more than I needed to.

Yes, yes, delicious, okay, yawn, everyone has a french toast recipe. Where's the challenge in that?

WELL. Ages ago I saw Rachael Ray do a brunch episode. In place of muffins, she recommended mini quiches and many other such muffin-sized things that mostly involved ham and always involved eggs. And one of those muffin-sized things: French Toast Cups! Her recipe, of course, calls for eggs and dairy and - of all things - bacon on top. So:

Vegan French Toast Cups
(makes 8 cups)

French Toast Batter (see above)
8 slices bread
Any toppings you desire: Maple Syrup, Fruit, Non-dairy yogurt, Strawberry Sauce, Nuts, Ice cream?!

Preheat the over to 375. Prepare French Toast batter as above. Mine's a little yellower than it needed to be because I had a turmeric accident.
Stack the bread. Cut a slit from the middle out to one of the corners (this will help fold the bread into the muffin pan).
Dip each piece into the batter, making sure each piece is wet enough to bend without breaking. Fold each slice into a greased muffin cup. They'll be funny-looking. That's okay.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and the bottom of the muffin cups are no longer soggy. Remove from oven, allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Use a fork or knife to gently pull french toast cups away from the muffin pan.
Fill with fruit and/or any other toppings you can think of, including:

Simple Strawberry Sauce
(makes a litle less than 2 cups)

1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sweetener (optional)

Combine strawberries, orange juice, and optional sweetener in a small pan over medium-low heat. YOu can leave the strawnberries whole, slice them, quarter them, or mush them with the back of a spoon like I do, depending on what kind of appearance/consistency you're going for. Once strawberries are really soft, add cornstarch and stir until no longer opaque, or until you reach the consistency you desire.
This is a super-tasty and healthy topping that works on french toast, pancakes, ice cream, or anything that could use a strawberry sauce.


ChocolateCoveredVegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Ooh, French Toast cups sound fun!

Ashasarala said... Best Blogger Tips

I was never much a fan of french toast. No matter how many recipes I've tried, I just couldn't get myself to like it.

But you know how psychology often plays a huge roll in what your brain believes it likes/dislikes? Well, I think those cups are awesome enough to make me believe I like it.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said... Best Blogger Tips

That is seriously creative, and seriously impressive.

Vegan_Noodle said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, french toast in cup form, how cool!! French toast has always been my favorite breakfast too! I love your take on using cashews in the batter. Wonder if I could just be lazy and use cashew butter? I have been using a recipe that uses tahini, so I will be giving this a try!

vegetalion said... Best Blogger Tips

aw, thanks jess! and vegan_noodle: let me know how the cashew butter works! You'll probably have to use less - 1/2 cup? Seriously, I don't think I'd be able to use it - I'd eat it all too quickly to use it in a recipe : X

Rural Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Your french toast cups are adorable, certainly much cuter without the bacon too! They'd be perfect for a brunch.

Alisa said... Best Blogger Tips

I hadn't seen a french toast made with cashews, that sounds great!

VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

I simply cannot get over how beautiful and elegant those French toast cups look - incredible!!

Judy said... Best Blogger Tips

Love the blog!

Those French toast cups are amazing, I can't wait to try that technique. I am much like you, and prefer French toast to all other breakfast foods, especially with maple syrup.

Emilie said... Best Blogger Tips

this is right up my alley. french toast cups? clever, fun, fussy, cute, and totally pointless--which to me makes for the perfect dish. looks great, thanks for sharing!

Liz² said... Best Blogger Tips

those are so cool! almost excuse enough for a party, seriously - a little french-toast-cup buffet table with fruits and things would be worth waking up early for. (I also really like the cashews in the recipe, much better than tofu)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said... Best Blogger Tips

The french toast cups are brilliant! My husband adores french toast, so I'll have to make these for him!

Ruby Red Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

I am totally using the French toast cup idea! I've made French toast sticks and normal French toast, but the cups look beyond excellent - thanks for sharing!

The Peace Patch said... Best Blogger Tips

I love your version of French toast...I might have to try it with cashew milk for extra nuttiness.
The cups are superfun! I want to fill them with warm chocolate pudding. Thanks for the recipe!

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

@The Peace Patch Chocolate pudding in French toast cups sounds DELICIOUS!