Paradise Found: The Pain Perdu Parfait

Pain Perdu Parfait
Hypothetically speaking, wouldn't it be glorious if French Toast, bread pudding and an ice cream sundae had a baby? Le sigh: one can dream.

Dream no more: I have non-hypothetical proof! Say hello to the Pain Perdu (a fancy way of saying French Toast) Parfait, a little something I dreamed up thanks to Foodbuzz's challenge to think of new and creative ways to use Nature's Pride bread products. Constructed of Honey Wheat bread soaked in a rich, sweet French Toast-y batter and then baked in cupcake cups until they have molded to the shape with a crispy, brown sugary crust, each little dish is filled with a healthy scoop of ice cream while still warm; the result is a creamy, dreamy treat which lies in a wonderful nether region between decadent brunch and rich dessert.

It may be Pain Perdu, but it tastes like Paradise Found.

Pain Perdu Parfaits

AKA French Toast Ice Cream Cups

-serves 4 -
  • 4 slices slightly stale bread, sliced lengthwise (I used honey wheat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light cream or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
  • about 1 teaspoon brown sugar per cup
  • 1 scoop of ice cream per cup




  • Ice cream toppings of your choice
  1. If you're going to bake these in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Or, you can use the toaster oven, in which case no action is needed till later.
  2. In a bowl, beat eggs, cream, vanilla, and spices together.
  3. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing bread to soak up some of the mixture.
  4. After dipping each piece, arrange in a cupcake cup or in an oven-safe greased dish or ramekin (depending on what size you'd like), until the strips have lined up to approximate the bowl-like shape. If needed, press down in the center so that they mimic the bowl shape.
    French Toast Bowl
  5. Drizzle about a teaspoon of brown sugar over each little "bowl" making sure to hit the sides of your little bread bowl. This will caramelize and taste delectable later.
  6. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until browned and crispy on the sides and firm in the center--or put in toaster oven for about 15 minutes on medium-high.
    Pain Perdu Parfait
  7. Remove from heat and let set for at least 20 minutes. Once firm, place a scoop of ice cream in the center of each "bowl" and garnish with hot fudge sauce, nuts, butterscotch, or any topping of your choice. Serve immediately.Pain Perdu Parfait