After finishing Whole30 at the beginning of the month, I was craving a decadent brunch dish but wanted to be mindful of my dairy intake. Much like Antoni from Queer Eye – I’m a dairy freak – but sadly, it doesn’t always agree with me.
So, while this recipe isn’t entirely dairy-free, thanks to the butter in the croissants and the ricotta folded into the coconut cream, it is largely reduced from what you might find in a typical French toast recipe.
The benefit of using coconut cream in place of heavy cream is the added boost of flavour you get from the coconut.
It’s absolutely critical that you put your can of coconut cream (or coconut milk will work too) in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours before using – otherwise you won’t be able to work into soft peaks for your filling.
Of course, you could serve this with standard fare maple syrup but I like to develop multipurpose syrups that elevate the flavours of a given dish and can be reused in cocktail recipes as well.
For instance, my favourite pancake recipe that I created, the Lemon Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes feature an Earl Grey syrup that I also put to work in my Boston Tea Party cocktail. You could also use it in a modified version of the Earl Grey Sour instead of infusing the gin.
If you stay tuned for my next recipe, I’ll show you how to repurpose the honey chamomile syrup from this French toast recipe in a delicious drink.
I hope you’ll give this Raspberry Coconut Croissant French Toast a try for your Valentine’s Day brunch this weekend – or any other occasion when you’re feeling like indulgence.
Raspberry Coconut Croissant French Toast with Honey Chamomile Syrup
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 8 small croissants butterflied
- butter for greasing
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup steeped chamomile tea
- 1 can coconut cream refrigerated overnight
- 2 tbsp honey chamomile syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup fresh raspberries divided
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut chips
In a shallow, medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, and cinnamon until combined. Dip the butterflied croissants (that is, slicing the croissant horizontally, without cutting all the way through, and opening it like a book) into the egg mixture, allowing each side to sit for 1-2 minutes in the egg mixture.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat generously with butter. When the skillet is hot, cook the croissants in batches (do not overcrowd) until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Spoon 3-4 tbsp of the coconut ricotta filling, a few whole raspberries and some coconut chips onto one side of the butterflied croissant French toast, fold the other half over top – making a croissant sandwich. Drizzle with honey chamomile syrup and dot with additional raspberries and coconut chips. Serve and enjoy!
Combine honey and steeped chamomile tea in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the syrup is thickened and reduced in volume by one third. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
Put your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. When you are ready to make the filling, remove the mixing bowl from the freezer. Then carefully remove the can of coconut cream from the refrigerator without shaking or tipping it. Remove the top of the can, then use a spoon to carefully spoon out the thick layer of coconut cream that should have separated to the top of the can, and transfer it to your chilled mixing bowl. (You will not use the layer of coconut water that has settled to the bottom of the can.)
Using a whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream on medium speed for 2-4 minutes, or until the cream becomes light and fluffy and small peaks form. Add in the honey chamomile syrup and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated.
In a small bowl, mash half the raspberries, fold into the coconut whipped cream, along with the ricotta.
Honey Chamomile Syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for approximately 3 weeks.