A change has occurred, indeed.
But it’s ok– the change shall be regnant, sustained. What exactly is it?
It’s been a full half a year since I’ve been without my other half- much has happened that has caused it to wane in importance in my life.. or so I thought. NOW I am reunited with my Nikon, complete and happy with old-fashioned clicking, rotating, manual correction, an old bit of Alex has been brought to life.
With the first set of exams over, what better way to celebrate than with a french toast, aka my favourite breakfast thing in the world ever?
A simple plate of french toast infused with coconut extract, topped with rhubarb roasted with honey and 12 year-old balsamic vinegar, topped with coconut extract, sweet, thick balsamic and maple syrup.
Rhubarb is in season and it was that fateful Thursday morning I decided to make the most of it. It’s simple but lush; the honey balsamic pairing adds succulence without being overly sour, the sweetness balanced by the almost sophisticated yet playful addition of coconut extract in the french toast batter.
OH. It’s the roasting with aged balsamic vinegar that truly makes all the difference. Best bit is that it takes no longer than 12-15 minutes, so all you have to do is chuck the chopped rhubarb on your pan, chuck that in the oven, then make your french toast. It all fits into a decent timeframe, saving you from excess mental exhaustion, even if it is meant to be a relaxing morning for creative expertise to take hold of the system. Sometimes one just can’t think straight in the mornings. This is one of those recipes that cooperates a bit with an occasional blur streak.
Just make sure you buy the aged stuff, vinegar-wise, for the ultimate sweet and sticky rhubarb experience. The rhubarb soaks up the tangy glisten of deep golden-black, the rest lingers in a finger-thick puddle for you to lick up a little later (oops).
Honey Balsamic-Roasted Rhubarb Coconut French Toast (serves 1 but may be scaled up)
1 slice bread of choice– soft whole wheat (I took a frozen homemade slice and microwaved it so it was the right texture for dipping into french toast batter) was used here, but so can brioche/ challah/ classic white bloomer
splash of milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract
2 tbsp honey (though there is no need to measure, simply drizzle as much as you want before roasting)
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1/2-1 stalk rhubarb
Toppings: maple syrup, more balsamic and coconut flakes
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Chop up your rhubarb into pieces 1.5-2cm long and lay them on your oven pan (won’t take up lots of space). Drizzle on the honey and balsamic vinegar, then chuck in the oven and let roast for 12-15 minutes– they should be done by 15 maximum.
Preheat your pan on medium heat and ready some butter. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and coconut extract. Once the pan is hot, add a knob of butter to the pan and let sizzle– it should not burn and turn brown; if that’s the case, turn down the heat a little and wait for that to settle. Dip both sides of bread into the batter, 5-10 seconds on each side, then lay one side into the pan. Flip after half a minute and cook the other side.
Serve the french toast with the cooked rhubarb, bubbling, sweet and tangy, and any extra juices left from the roasting. Add maple syrup, coconut flakes and more balsamic vinegar if you wish. I had this the other day with some almond butter and blueberries, and that was pretty darn magnificent too.