Crunchberry French Toast
April 6, 2019 by Nicole Collins
Cereal…not just for milk anymore.
In fact, if I’m being honest, I eat more cereal outside of milk than in it. Is that strange?
I love cereal in dry applications: in a snack mix, as a breading for chicken, or sometimes even just as a handful straight from the box. Not so much in milk though.
Overall, cereal is one of those things that’s a one and done for me. Every once in a blue moon, I get a craving for cereal. I’ll buy a box, eat a bowl or two, then the box sits on top of my fridge for 2 years before I finally decide to throw it away. I don’t think I’ve ever finished an entire box of cereal.
Even as a kid, I wasn’t much of a cereal eater. Maybe it’s the milk. I’ve never been milk’s biggest fan. I think I’ve eaten more cereal in my adult life since almond milk became a thing than I ever did as a kid. I do love me some almond milk!
Though I don’t eat much cereal, I do have a favorite: Crunchberry Cap’n Crunch! I don’t know what it is, but if it was ever one of those rare moments that I requested cereal, it was always the crunchberries or Reese’s Puffs…mmm! You and the Cap’n make it happen, after all!
There’s a local restaurant in Baltimore that is famous for their Cap’n Crunch French Toast. I’m even pretty sure that they were on an episode of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. It’s really some pretty amazing stuff! Their version is made up of coarsely ground cereal coating a thick cut egg battered bread and topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. The restaurant is also known for its eclectic décor and equally as unique menu, but the French toast is kind of their claim to fame.
The restaurant that makes this French toast is in the city, and this girl tries to avoid going in to the city at all costs. So, I made my own version at home using my favorite kind of cereal…the crunchberry kind!
So today, we’re making Crunchberry French Toast!
We start with a nice thick cut bread. I chose to use a French brioche that I found pre-sliced at the store. But, Texas toast or any thicker cut bread will work. We need a bread with some depth that can handle absorbing a delicious egg custard without it becoming overly saturated and soggy. After the bread gets dipped in a simple mix of beaten eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt; it’s ready for its cereal coating.
My approach to the cereal coating is a little different than the restaurant’s. The biggest difference is that I pulse my cereal into more of a fine crumb with a few coarse pieces mixed in. Doing this makes the cereal create a nice caramelized crust on the outside of the bread with little flecks of color from the ground crunchberries. The crusted bread gets cooked in some melted better, then it’s ready for its toppings.
To top, we make a super basic whipped cream by beating equal parts heavy cream and powdered sugar together. Then, we top the French toast our favorite fresh berries, and we’re ready to eat!
There are so many great things about this French toast. The colors are so fun, making this a perfect treat for the kiddos. The bread is perfectly moist. The crust is perfectly sweet and crunchy. And, the whipped cream and berries add a cool freshness to a deliciously indulgent breakfast. Who am I kidding? This breakfast is fun for the kids and the grown ups!
Alright guys! On Monday, we’re going to use the leftover brioche from this recipe to make a COMPLETELY different kind of toast. Get ready for a savory toast next!
‘Til then, enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Crunchberry French Toast
Serves: 4 Print
For the Crunchberry French Toast
3 ½ cups Crunchberry Cap'n Crunch cereal
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 slices thick cut bread (like Texas Toast or sliced French Brioche)
3-4 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup fresh berries
To a food processor, add 3 cups of cereal, and process until finely ground. Transfer to a plate. Take the remaining ½ cup cereal, and process until cereal is coarsely ground. Add to fine crumbs, and mix to combine the two.
In a wide, shallow bowl, add ½ cup heavy cream, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk well to combine, making sure to break up the egg whites completely.
Take one slice of bread, and dip both sides of the bread in the egg custard mix until completely covered in egg but not soggy. Dip both sides of the battered bread in the cereal crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining bread, custard, and crumbs.
Melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add french toast to the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for 3-4 mins until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 mins until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with remaining slices, adding 1 tbsp butter to the pan for each new batch.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat ¼ cup heavy cream on medium high speed until soft peaks forms, about 2-3 mins. Add powdered sugar, and beat on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, about 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
To serve, top french toast with whipped cream and fresh berries. Enjoy!
*It's important to keep the heat at medium for these so the outside don't get done too quickly before the insides. There are so many sugars in these, they caramelize very easily!
*You can make a batch of these ahead. Cut them in to strips, place them on a plate in the freezer to freeze individually. Transfer to a freezer safe bag. When ready to reheat, pop them in the microwave for about a minute for a quick breakfast.
*You could make the whipped cream by using a hand mixer instead of breaking out the stand mixer for just ¼ cup cream. It'll just take a little longer. To help speed up the process a smidge, put your bowl and the beaters in the freezer until you're ready to use them so everything is nice and cold when you're ready to whip your cream.