The idea for this dessert actually goes all the way back to these cheddar-battered onion rings with a stout chocolate malt from over a year ago. I was reviewing that recipe for inclusion in the cookbook, and was reminded of the idea of serving it with a grilled apple slider on brioche French toast.
The dish you see above basically tastes the way I wanted it to, but the proportions and presentation need work to make it really resemble a burger. I’m hoping you don’t mind me sharing a work in progress!
The components are: caramel sauce, brioche French toast, sauteed apple, aged cheddar, maple whipped cream, flaky sea salt. I think the cheddar works well both as a reference to a burger but also because lots of folks like cheddar on apple pie. I’ve doubled the amount of cheddar in the recipe below. Try to get it on the apple while it is still warm enough to melt.
Caramel Apple Brioche French Toast
For the French toast:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cinammon
- 12 square pieces of brioche, 2″ x 2″ x 1/2″
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the maple whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup (more flavorful than grade A)
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 round slices of peeled apple, 1/2″ thick (full cuts through the apple, no core)
- 1 1/2 cups warm caramel sauce
- 12 thin slices well-aged cheddar cheese
- flaky sea salt
- Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cinammon. Arrange the brioche slices in a shallow dish just big enough to hold them. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and allow it to soak in, turning once, for about 5 minutes.
- Put the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is fully heated, put in the first batch of brioche slices, draining off excess custard first. Cook until well browned, adjust the heat as necessary, and flipping to cook both sides. Remove to paper towels and cook the remaining pieces.
- Beat the cream, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt to stiff peaks in a mixer with a whisk attachment, or alternatively prepare them for use in a whipped cream dispenser. Chill.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the apples until tender and browned on both sides.
- To serve, pour about 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce on each plate. Put down one slice of brioche and 2 more tablespoons of the sauce. Place an apple slice on top, and cover that with two thin slices of cheddar. Sprinkle on a few flakes of sea salt. Add a second piece of brioche, a healthy dollop of the maple whipped cream, and serve immediately.