Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Apple and Cream Cheese French Toast with Strawberry Coulis

         There was this programme on an Indian TV channel called “Do It Sweet”; it was hosted by a very talented modern chef, the head of the Aurus restaurant in Mumbai and just a very fascinating man Vicky Ratnani. As the name of the show suggests, he was making desserts – beautiful, stunning, yet easy to reproduce at home. Vicky was assisted by fabulous Maria Goretti who, to my mind, with her outstanding appearance resembled Monica Bellucci. Maria used to act more like “a commentator” rather than “a serious helper” in the kitchen (but the Chef didn’t need that much help, anyway) – every time she came up with amazing facts about the ingredients Vicky cooked with. So, the audience learnt about the nutritious value of pistachios, about the benefits of consuming prunes and about the “good fat” and antioxidants in chocolate. And, since Vicky cooked a lot with apples (just think of the fiber content in them!) Maria couldn’t stop praising the fruits. One of the recipes with this wonderful ingredient that got my attention was apple and cream cheese filled French toast. On the one hand, it’s just a stuffed French toast. On the other hand, because of the complexity of flavours in the filling and due to the presentation it is a restaurant type of a dish. I enjoy cooking (and consuming!) it when strawberries are in season: during the winters spent in Kolkata and summer vocations in Moscow. Oh yes, it’s another advantage of having two homes in different parts of the world!

Recipe adapted from “Do It Sweet” TV show (Chef Vicky Ratnani)


1 large red apples, peeled
15 gm butter
20 ml lemon juice
20 ml orange juice
50 gm cream cheese
2 tbsp raisins, soaked in Cointreau
1 tbsp orange zest
pinch of cinnamon

French toast
6 slices of bread
2 eggs
100 ml milk
1 tsp cinnamon powder
25 gm butter

Strawberry coulis
200 gm strawberries, hulled
2 tbsp icing sugar


  1. For the filling, chop the apple and sauté it in butter, lemon and orange juices till soft. Strain the liquid. Add cream cheese, raisins, cinnamon and orange zest to the apples.
  2. For the French toast, cut the rounds out of the bread. Divide the filling between the 3 rounds and top it with the remaining ones. Whisk eggs with milk and cinnamon, pour the mixture into a deep plate and leave the stuffed rounds of bread in it for 10 minutes, turning once, or until the mixture is absorbed. Heat butter in a pan and fry the toasts till golden brown on both sides.
  3. For strawberry coulis, reserve a few strawberries and puree the rest of them in a blender with the icing sugar. Strain through a fine sieve.
  4. To serve, make a pool of strawberry coulis on a plate. Put the French toast on top of it, garnish with the reserved strawberries and mint leaves.

1.      Strawberry coulis can be made in advance – it keeps well in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge.
2.      It’s better to make the filling long before stuffing the toast – cream cheese melts when it hits the hot apples and the whole mixture becomes a bit gooey. After being left in the fridge for a while, it thickens and it’s easier to spread it on the slices of bread.

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