This recipe is so simple, yet with the unique orange flavored syrup and a surprising ‘crunch’, I know it’s going to be a regular in my breakfast menu rotation instead of plain French toast and maple syrup.
I recently received a copy of PANINI -The simple tastes of Italian-style bread by Veronica Lavenia. Needless to say, I would never write about or promote anything that I didn’t fully believe was worthy of a post on my site, so when Veronica asked me a few months ago if I’d review her book, there wasn’t a question in my mind that it would be up to my own standards. I’ve seen so many of her recipes, that I knew her quality and approach to food is completely in line with mine and I was correct.
PANINI is a very simple cookbook with simple recipes, but, don’t let this mislead you. These are fabulous creations that bring together many different components of Italian cuisine: there are some classics, traditional Italian panini, and others are Veronica’s own creative combinations which still keep in line with a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.
How many different sandwiches do you make? Can your repertoire use a little expansion beyond peanut butter and jelly, chicken, egg or tuna salad; ham, turkey or roast beef with mayo, lettuce, tomato, maybe even bologna or a BLT. The range of sandwiches in Veronica’s PANINI book is extensive, and what’s really lovely is that every single creation features a full page photo. How’s that for enticing you to venture out into unknown sandwich territory? I love lots of photos in cookbooks and this one hits the mark.
After the introduction and discussing Italian bread, Veronica provides us with a basic bread recipe for Italian style bread and focaccia. The main part of the book is divided into four parts: Bruschetta, Panini, Tramezzini (more traditional-style sandwiches as we know them in the US) and Toast. Most recipes have minimal ingredients and are very light and fresh; you won’t find any Dagwood type sandwiches in PANINI, that’s for sure!
Veronica gave me permission to share one of her fabulous creations with you, and in order to give you an idea of the scope of her book, I’ve decided to share a non-sandwich recipe (because there is more to her cookbook than just sandwiches). Enjoy her Cinnamon French Toast with a lovely Orange Sauce, and I know you’ll then want to order her book which is available on Amazon.com.
My family truly enjoyed this French toast, but one thing we really loved was the surprising crunch from the brown sugar that’s sprinkled on just before cooking! This is great for people with nut allergies as it gives the same sort of crunch as nuts would, without the nuts! Fabulous idea, and this creation could absolutely be served as dessert, as well as a breakfast or brunch dish.
Cinnamon French Toast with Orange Sauce
slightly adapted from Veronica Lavenia in PANINI
4 oz (125ml) milk (or rice milk)
1 large egg, preferably organic
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (good quality)
1 tbsp brown sugar
butter for the pan (a few pats)
4 slices of stale bread, a rustic ciabatta works well
(more brown sugar for sprinkling)
juice of 2 oranges, preferably organic
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
Place the milk, egg, cinnamon, and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a bowl and beat until well mixed and smooth.
Soak the bread in the mixture (you can do this the night before if you prefer).
In a skillet, place the pats of butter over medium heat, then sprinkle the soaked bread with a little brown sugar and place (sugar side down) in the pan; sprinkle the top with more brown sugar (for a crispy toast).
Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
While the toast is cooking, put the orange juice, vanilla and 2 tbsp brown sugar (more or less, to taste) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until the juice has reduced to a syrup, stirring continuously so that it doesn’t stick. Pour into a small jug.
Drizzle the syrup over the Cinnamon Toast and serve hot.
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- 4 oz (125ml) milk (or rice milk)
- 1 large egg, preferably organic
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon (good quality)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- butter for the pan (a few pats)
- 4 slices of stale bread, a rustic ciabatta works well
- (more brown sugar for sprinkling)
- juice of 2 oranges, preferably organic
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Place the milk, egg, cinnamon, and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a bowl and beat until well mixed and smooth.
- Soak the bread in the mixture (you can do this the night before if you prefer).
- In a skillet, place the pats of butter over medium heat, then sprinkle the soaked bread with a little brown sugar and place (sugar side down) in the pan; sprinkle the top with more brown sugar (for a crispy toast).
- Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
- While the toast is cooking, put the orange juice, vanilla and 2 tbsp brown sugar (more or less, to taste) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until the juice has reduced to a syrup, stirring continuously so that it doesn't stick.
- Drizzle the syrup over the Cinnamon Toast and serve hot.
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