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Chef Sous Chef – Baked Blueberry French Toast Cake

If ever it’s been a secret, consider it out: we love brunch.

Summer’s on its way, and that means it’s the unofficial start of brunch season…and patio season, or perhaps best of all…brunch-on-a-patio season. It’s a time when the mimosas are flowing, summer fruits are sweetest, and your best brunch recipes get brought out for family and friends to enjoy.

If ever it’s been a secret, consider it out: we love brunch. There’s something about a leisurely meal that combines the better parts of breakfast and lunch, savoured in good company. But if you don’t have your signature brunch dish yet, don’t sweat it. We’ve asked the co-creators of the inspirational and delectable Chef Sous Chef, Mystique and Philip, to join us in sharing a recipe they created that’s especially cool for the summer, but can be added to your repertoire year-round!

You can follow Mystique and husband Philip’s culinary journey at www.chefsouschef.com, and on Instagram @chef.souschef.

Stylized photo of ingrediants with the text 'Indigo artisanal dishware is perfect for separating or serving'

Baked Blueberry French Toast Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Makes: 4 small cakes

What makes this the perfect brunch dish is the individual serving sizes. They’re drizzled with blueberry sauce and topped with whipped cream, fruit and maple syrup. It's brown and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and has a rich, vanilla custard flavour without being eggy. It’s a wonderful choice for those who absolutely love brunch and those who are lukewarm.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 loaf thick sliced bread, crusts removed egg bread is preferred
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter melted + butter for greasing pans
Prepping ingrediants

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. In a saucepan, combine 4 cups of blueberries, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, chopped mint, lemon zest, and ¼ tsp of salt. Cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently until fruit begins to break down and releases its juices. Reduce heat to medium low and allow sauce to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, grease 4 mini springform pans with butter. Cut the crusts off the bread. Cover the bottom of the pan with one layer of bread, ensuring there are no spaces visible.

Spoon ¼ cup of fresh berries + 1 tbsp sauce on top of bread spreading out evenly. Add another layer of bread over the fruit. Repeat with all the cakes and set on a baking sheet while you make the eggs mixture.

Garnishing french toast cakes

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, whipping cream, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, cinnamon, ¼ tsp of salt. Slowly pour the eggs into each pan covering the bread. Once it gets to the top, stop pouring and allow it to subside. Pour remaining eggs on top then set toasts aside for 15 minutes to fully absorb the eggs. Then pour 1 tbsp of melted butter on each cake and place directly on an oven rack. Cook for 30 minutes.

french toast cake seen from above with text that says 'elegant and earthen, plate it with these marble and acacia boards'

Once cooked, allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes then remove them from the pans. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraîche, or yogurt, nuts, and the remaining fruit sauce.

2 people looking at french toast cake and laughing

Q&A:

Q: Hi Mystique, love your blog, and your instagram is drool-worthy. What inspired you to start up Chef Sous Chef?

A: Throughout our relationship, cooking was our way of unwinding and connecting, together over comforting homemade dishes. Philip was a natural leader in the kitchen and I was his right hand, his sous chef.

A few days after we got married, we found ourselves yearning for another project that allowed us to be creative like our wedding did. Our love of being in the kitchen and conversing over food was an obvious passion we shared. Stemming from my kitchen title, Philip became our kitchen chef and together we became Chef Sous Chef. Our blog was created to capture kitchen conversations and recipes enjoyed together.

Q: One of Chef Sous Chef’s guiding principals is “real food, no rules”. What does that mean in your kitchen?

A: Real food, no rules means eating anything you want to eat (in moderation), as long as you make it yourself using ingredients that are the natural, pronounceable, good for you kind of ingredients. In our kitchen, we believe that when real ingredients are the only items on your plate, there are no rules to eating.

Q: What makes this recipe different from traditional French toast?

A: There’s something special about being served a meal that is made especially for you. Unlike the traditional pan-fried French Toast, this three layer dish is baked to an airy and custard-like consistency, full of fruit and topped with traditional fixings like whipped cream and nuts. But what makes this recipe unique is the magic of the blueberry sauce, brightened with lemon zest and mint, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup and vanilla.

Q: What is your advice to home chefs cooking this recipe for the first time?

A: Once you pour the egg batter over the bread and berries, give it enough time to soak up and keep topping the cake until the batter reaches the top. This allows the bread to soak up the batter and become custard-like in texture once baked. Aside from that, take your time, whip your own cream and bon appetit!

Q: As a food stylist, how is this recipe best served?

A: Show, don’t tell. Let the rustic texture of the cake remain natural and serve on a wooden or marble board, or a simple side plate. Once plated, place a spoonful of blueberry sauce atop the cake, allowing it to drip over the sides and then layer on a dollop of cloud-like whipped cream. Next, sprinkle chopped nuts over the entire dish, dress it with a sprig of mint and finish with a delicate dusting of powdered sugar. From prep, to assembly, to plating, this is a dish that stands on its own without fussy styling.

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