How to Make a Classic Brunch Dish Mo’ Bettah

Pidgin lesson for the day: mo’ bettah = “more better” as in, improve. Put the coffee in the dish, don’t just drink coffee with the dish. And I have thoughts on how to make French toast more Hawaiian.

I recently came across this recipe which was adapted from A Flash in the Pan: Simple, Speedy, Stovetop Recipes by John Whaite, Kyle Books. (You can find the original recipe on his website). I wanted to first make the brunch dish before posting it, but I often don’t whittle through my “to try” list quickly enough. I like to change up the blog posts, and a recipe is due. I share it in case you’ll get around to it before me.

The recipe calls for instant espresso powder, which I’ve never tried. I’ve tried instant coffee, but never instant espresso. I knew I wanted to substitute Bea’s Knees coffee, but I didn’t know in what brewed form. I don’t have an espresso maker, so I decided I’d brew really strong coffee in the Aeropress, and decrease the amount of liquid (the milk). Around the time of discovering the recipe this other article about how instant coffee is made was sent to me.

And, finally, here’s the recipe, with my side comments in italics:

Coffee and Corn Flake French Toast

1/2 cup whole milk

2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I plan to try 2 tsp of strong Aeropress & 2 tsp less milk)

1 tablespoon runny honey

2 large eggs

3 cups cornflakes (add a little sweetened flaked coconut?)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 thick slices of brioche or challah bread (day-old)
(I’ll use thick slices of Punalu’u Hawaiian sweet bread)

Maple syrup, to serve (To make it Hawaiian, I’d use lilikoi syrup!)

Put the milk and espresso powder into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. 

Add the honey and eggs and whisk until well mixed. 

Crush the cornflakes roughly (e.g., smash in large ziploc) — some should be fine powder, while other pieces should be fairly chunky. Tip into a wide bowl or plate. 

Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 

Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, swirling it around the pan to melt. 

Dunk the bread slices, one at a time, into the egg mixture, pressing them down gently to soak them well. 

Dip both sides of the bread slices into the cornflakes to coat completely, then pop into the pan. 

If your pan is big enough, fry all four pieces at once; otherwise cook the bread slices in batches, only dipping and coating them just before frying. Add more butter if necessary. Fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, until deeply golden and crispy. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

I would heat up some sliced, pan-fried apple bananas, and add some chopped macadamia nuts, too.

Yield: 4 slices

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