Mark Kovacs, General Manager of the Cheesecake Factory and Freddie Turcios, Executive Kitchen Manager of the Chicago restaurant, took time out of their busy schedules -- Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year at the restaurant -- and came to our ABC7 studio to show us how to make a special French toast.
French Toast Napoleon with Strawberries
Makes two servings
French Toast Batter:
1 cup Half and half (or milk)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend for a few seconds or until smooth. This is enough batter for two servings of French Toast (6 slices).
6 slices Egg Bread or Challah Bread, 3/4-inch thick slices
2 cups French Toast Batter
1/4 cup Butter, melted or Canola Oil
3 cups Sliced Strawberries, (room temperature) tossed with a little sugar
2 cups Whipped Cream
1/2 cup Glazed Pecans
1 Tablespoon Powered Sugar
Maple Syrup, heated
1. Dip the egg bread in French toast batter. Gently squeeze the bread slices in several different spots (especially near the edge/crust) to help absorb the batter. Allow the batter to absorb into the bread while it rests for 10 minutes.
2. Drizzle melted butter onto a pancake grill or large saute pan. Place the soaked egg bread onto the oiled grill and cook until golden brown on both top and bottom (approximately 4 minutes per side).
3. When the French toast is done, place one slice on the plate. Using a large spoon, sprinkle a little of the sliced strawberries over the top of the French toast, making sure to spread it close to the edge, all the way around. Place the second piece of French toast on top of the first and sprinkle more sliced strawberries over the bread, again, making sure to spread it close to the edge, all the way around. Place the last piece of French toast on top of the others. Sprinkle a little more sliced strawberries on top of the bread, but this time with a little more in the center and allowing some of the strawberries to fall randomly onto the plate around the French toast. You can also drizzle a little of the juice around the edge of the French toast. Repeat this procedure with the second plate.
4. Garnish the French toast with some whipped cream and the glazed pecans.
5. Sprinkle some powered sugar on top and all around the plate. Serve warm maple syrup on the side.