Story by Aaron Lynch, Chef-Owner, Hidden Julles Café, Photos by Kara Thorpe
Welcome to the third edition of the Origin of a Recipe. This month we’re featuring our irresistibly yummy stuffed French toast. It’s a perfect dish for holiday breakfasts or my family’s favorite meal, brinner (breakfast for dinner).
At Hidden Julles Cafe, we serve stuffed French toast all day long. Our everyday stuffed French toast features house-made strawberry jam, cream cheese, and walnuts inside of a fresh Hidden Julles Cafe baked French loaf. We top it with powdered sugar and organic maple syrup. We offer a gluten-free option, too. It’s one of our most popular dishes. (We also make a savory Monte Cristo version with turkey, ham and provolone stuffed inside the French toast. Delicious!)
My love for stuffed French toast began when I was about fourteen years old. I spent a lot of time at my best friend, Dean Freeland’s house. Dean’s dad, Wayne, made a mean stuffed French toast and I have many fond and filling memories of stuffing myself to the gills with his amazing creation. So, when we opened Hidden Julles Cafe, I pretty much stole Wayne’s recipe. Thankfully, he approves, and I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you here.
I originally purchased pre-made organic strawberry jam for the stuffed French toast. After reading the ingredients and doing some research, I realized how easy it would be to make my own. What a difference fresh, home-made strawberry jam adds to this dish. I strongly encourage you to make the jam. You’ll be amazed at how easy and delicious it is.
Stuffed French toast is a dish that you can be super creative with. Many days at Hidden Julles Cafe we offer a seasonal stuffed French toast as a daily special. My recent favorite Hidden Julles Cafe variation is French toast stuffed with apples, brie cheese, and cashews with a gooey caramel sauce drizzle. The variations are endless, have fun experimenting with both sweet and savory creations. Our family loves setting up a “stuffing station” for our brinners where everyone chooses their own stuffings and toppings, which is similar to a make your pizza night.
For a downloadable, printable version of this recipe, click here.
- 3 cups frozen strawberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Stuffed French Toast:
- Day old French bread sliced thick
- Softened Cream cheese
- Egg wash
- Place strawberries in medium sauté pan over medium heat.
- Cover strawberries with sugar.
- Heat 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally using a rubber spatula.
- When you can run the spatula across the bottom and the liquid canyons and does not quickly pull together, the jam is ready.
- Using a potato masher, lightly mash the jam to the consistency you would like.
- You can skip this step if you like chunky jam.
- Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth and one color.
- Place in a flat bottom Pyrex.
Stuffed French Toast
- Heat a skillet to medium/medium high heat. When hot, spray with cooking spray. If it smokes, turn down the heat.
- Slice French bread to your preferred thickness. I like mine relatively thick.
- Dip one side of two slices of bread in the egg wash then transfer to the hot skillet.
- Spread one side with cream cheese and the other with strawberry jam.
- Add crumbled walnuts to the top of the strawberry jam.
- Place the cream cheese covered French toast on top of the jam covered French toast.
- Cook until the bottom is golden brown then flip and cook again until golden brown.
- Top with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.