Yesterday morning, I wanted to make a special breakfast since, of course, it was Valentine’s Day. We also stayed in last night and made a fun dinner, but I’ll probably post that later today.
BSI Entry: Orange-ricotta Stuffed French Toast with Orange-maple Syrup
As soon as Mara announced oranges as the Blogger Secret Ingredient, I was wracking my brain for something I could make that would be hopefully a little different. I didn’t want to bake anything, and I didn’t want to go shopping for a bunch of ingredients. We had ricotta cheese leftover from our Super Bowl party, so I decided to make stuffed French toast with ricotta instead of the usual (and gross!) cream cheese. I looked up a few recipes online for inspiration and came up with the following:
Orange-ricotta Stuffed French Toast
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or to taste, you could use less)
- 1 large egg, plus 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- dash salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 slices bread (I used Challah, the best bread for French toast, but whole wheat or anything else would work too)
- butter or Pam
- powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- Combine ricotta, orange zest, orange juice, and agave in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and vanilla in another bowl. Pour egg mixture into wide shallow bowl.
- Lay bread onto clean work surface. Place 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture in center of slices. Cover with remaining slices, gently pressing slices together. Coat sandwiches with egg mixture.
- Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Butter, or coat with cooking spray. Cook slices until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
- To make the syrup, heat maple syrup, orange juice and zest in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove when hot. Keep warm.
Notes: I recommend using the tiniest bit of butter to cook the French toast. It makes it taste so much better, and I think you can get away with 1/4 teaspoon of butter per sandwich, That’s nothing (see how dry the rest of my pan is, and how crispy and brown it still got). Also, for those M.O.T folks out there, this is great recipe for Tu B’Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day, basically).
To make it pretty I sliced my sandwich in half and dusted it with powdered sugar. I served it with (what else?) orange slices and a few slices of bacon (which thereby ends the meal being suitable for a Jewish holiday. Oh well!).
It came out great! The ricotta was light-flavored, so it added more of a creamy orange-y flavor than a cheesy taste (or cannoli taste like I thought it might have). And the syrup definitely added to the orange experience. I saved the leftover syrup to have with yogurt and oatmeal later this week.
I recommend this recipe to anyone wanting a different breakfast/brunch treat. You can make it as healthy or as indulgent as you want, depending on the type of bread, cheese, and sugar you use.