Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Sugar Magnolia Brunch: Cream Cheese Filled Challah French Toast with Fresh Strawberries

Cream Cheese Filled Challah French Toast probably isn't the first thing to come to mind when you think of New Orleans cuisine.  Jambalaya, Shrimp Remoulade, Oysters Rockefeller, Crawfish Étouffée and Corn Maque Choux are more likely contenders.
But I always think of Challah French Toast. That's because, during the six years I lived in New Orleans, I ordered this dish from the now-defunct Sugar Magnolia almost every Sunday.
Sugar Magnolia served the french toast with pure maple syrup and fresh berries. I choose between strawberries, raspberries or blueberries- depending on what's in season.  
This is my attempt to recreate their classic and I only used six ingredients:fresh organic strawberries (courtesy of a local farm in New Hampshire where I was vacationing last week), challah bread, Green Wind Farm maple syrup, eggs, cream cheese and butter.
It was an amazing pick for Father's Day brunch!
Cream Cheese Filled Challah French Toast (Inspired by Sugar Magnolia, New Orleans)
Serves 2 (4 slices per person)
2 tablespoons of butter
8 slices of challah bread
cream cheese
3-4 eggs
maple syrup
fresh strawberries or blueberries
(Optional: confectioners' sugar)
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a fry pan.  (1 tablespoon per serving. I make 1 serving of french toast at a time.) 
Lightly whisk eggs in a shallow bowl.
Cut challah into 8, 1/2 inch slices.
Spread cream cheese in between two slices of challah, making 4 challah sandwiches.
Place cream cheese filled challah sandwiches into egg batter and coat both sides.
Place challah sandwiches (2 at a time) in fry pan and cook each side till it is golden brown.
Serve with fresh berries and maple syrup.
Dust with confectioners' sugar (optional).
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  1. I found your blog while trying to remember the ingredients to a Heidi's recipes when I forgot my book at home and have enjoyed it ever since.

    My grandma makes this recipe every Easter with a slight twist. She mixes the cream cheese with some organic jam (or simply mashed up fresh berries) and let's that sit over night in the fridge. She sometimes also puts some of the fresh berries and maple syrup on a low simmer while she cooks the French Toast to incorporate that fresh fruit flavor throughout the dish.

    Thanks for the cooking inspirations!

  2. Great ideas Lauren! Thanks for the suggestions.