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
-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
- 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.
- In a bowl, beat eggs, cream, vanilla, and spices together.
- Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing bread to soak up some of the mixture.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.