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Here goes one more blueberry recipe on the blog which proves that I have yet to get over my craze for the plump and juicy purple berry. This classic breakfast item has been revamped by Pam from For the Love of Cooking to include a pint of fresh blueberries and though I have never tried French toast on its own [shame!] I could not resist the berry version. Especially not when I had just bought tons of fresh berries on a Buy1 Get1 Free deal! Personally, I found the leftovers of this baked fresh toast better tasting than it was right out of the oven but then, I might have been biased as my second serving had the benefit of being topped with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and toasted almonds.

BAKED BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST

Ingredients:

For the Casserole

1 loaf brioche bread, cubed

1 cup fresh blueberries, divided

8 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/4 cups whole milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Streusel Topping

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoon butter, cold

Method:

  • Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray. Cut the brioche bread into cubes, about 1 inch in size.

  • Spread half of the cubes into the prepared baking pan and top evenly with half of the blueberries.

  • Add the remaining bread cubes followed by remaining blueberries. Set aside and prepare sauce.

  • Whisk the eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a bowl until well combined.

  • Pour evenly over bread. Cover the pan very tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

  • Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350oF. Remove pan from the refrigerator.

  • Prepare topping by whisking the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.

  • Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over bread.

  • Bake it for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.

  • Cover the cooled leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Makes 8-10 servings.

Baked Blueberry French Toast

My recipe for this Mauritian old school recipe was among the first I posted on this blog some 8 years back. The warm sticky pudding, known as poudine dipain, fondly brings back memories from one’s childhood, possibly involving siblings fighting over the largest piece. With more mothers joining the workforce, the art of making homemade treats for kids as they come back from school has slowly faded away. To keep our lepok lontan traditions alive, I wanted to share this classic recipe from Confessions of a Foodaholic where Sharmeen passes on her dad’s poudine dipain through simple fail-proof instructions. Because I cannot imagine my poudine without its caramel base, I felt compelled to tweak the recipe and swirled my pan with a good measure of caramelized sugar before pouring in the batter.

BREAD PUDDING/ POUDINE DIPAIN

Ingredients:

2 baguettes or 4 pains maison

2 cups full cream milk powder

1 cup granulated white sugar

125g butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups cold water

Method:

  • Cut the baguette or pain maison into thick slices and leave to soak in cold water for about 1 hours.

  • Remove from water and drain well to remove any excess of water. Place in a bowl and mash slightly.

  • Add the milk powder, sugar, vanilla extract and mix till evenly combined. Stir in the softened butter.

  • Transfer the pudding mixture to a lightly greased round pan and top with almond flakes if desired.

  • Either bake the pudding in a preheated oven or cook it in bain marie until the surface is almost set.

  • Bake at 200oC for 45 minutes until golden or cook in bain marie for 1 hour, checking for doneness.

  • Leave to cool completely before unmolding on a serving plate and cutting into slices. Serves 8-10.

  • To make a caramel base for the pudding, coat bottom of the pan with melted sugar before baking.

Poudine Dipain/ Bread Pudding

This particular rice flour pudding was by all means the result of keeping a box of rice flour and a tin of condensed milk side by side in my kitchen drawer for weeks with no inkling that the two could be combined in a single creamy dessert. Originally from Northern parts of India, phirni is a well loved milk dish traditionally served in small earthen pots. Its preparation is somewhat similar to kheer, which is made from whole rice, whereas phirni is prepared using ground rice or rice flour. Best served after it has been chilled for a couple of hours, the traditional recipe calls for full cream milk though I wanted to go along with the condensed milk to make it thick and smooth.

Rose water and saffron are usually added to enhance flavours but please do not omit the freshly ground cardamom to maintain its authenticity. In contrast to the classic semolina pudding we always prepare for puja ceremonies, this light rice flour pudding was my offering to Lord Shiva for Maha Shivratree. Celebrated with unwavering devotion in honor of one of the main deities of Hinduism, the great night of Shiva is preceded by the pilgrimage to Ganga Talao. Every year, thousands of Mauritians undertake the journey on foot, some carrying heavily decorated kanwars and chanting the powerful Om Namah Shivaya mantra as they make their slow progress towards the sacred lake.

PHIRNI

Ingredients:

500 g fine rice flour, sifted

392g condensed milk

2 1/2 cups full cream milk

2 cups lukewarm water

1/4 cup unrefined sugar

2 teaspoons cardamom powder

1 1/2 teaspoon rose water/ gulab jal

Small pinch of saffron strands

3 tablespoon almonds, chopped

3 tablespoon pistachios, chopped

Method:

  • Sift the rice flour into a large mixing bowl to remove any large lumps. Add the condensed milk and stir.

  • Slowly add milk and water till a batter of dosa-like consistency forms and place in a heavy bottomed pan.

  • Cook on low heat, stirring continuously for 10 to 12 minutes. The texture should be coarse and little thick.

  • Add the unrefined sugar to the mixture and mix well. Continue to cook on low flame the sugar dissolves.

  • Before removing the pan from the heat, add the cardamom powder and rose water and give it a good stir.

  • Leave to cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving time.

  • Serve phirni in small bowls and garnish with chopped almonds, pistachios and saffron strands. Serves 6.

Phirni – Rice Flour Pudding

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PrerrnaMirchi
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