Years ago, I went to Toast in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood for a business meeting with my good friend and wedding planning guru, Lori Stephenson of Lola Event Productions. Lori ordered this decadent looking Mascarpone Strawberry Stuffed French Toast… I didn’t get it but thought about it forever until the next time I had a chance to go back and order it. I don’t live in Chicago anymore, so I've had to create my own version. It is just as good as I remember and doesn’t require a plane ticket or the hassle of parking in Lincoln Park.
STRAWBERRY MARSCAPONE NUTELLA STUFFED FRENCH TOAST
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 ½ cups strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 slices Challah, Brioche or soft loaf bread
4 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons Nutella
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup Confectioners sugar, for dusting
2 cups maple syrup
Hull and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle with the sugar. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, juice, zest, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
Spread five slices of bread with the Mascarpone cheese. Spread five slices with Nutella.
Drain the strawberries. Put slices over the Nutella and put the slices together to form 5 sandwiches. Working 1 at a time, dip the sandwich in the egg mixture, letting it sit about 1 minute per side to soak up the egg mixture. Set aside. Repeat.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet or griddle. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, add 2 of the sandwiches and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Repeat. Use a serrated knife to carefully slice in half. Dust with Confectioner’s sugar. Serve with warm maple syrup and a little orange zest.