2 New Ways to Bring Big Flavor to French Toast

French toast: bread, eggs, milk or cream. That’s it, right? Right … technically. But the world of French toast goes beyond those basic ingredients, and what results when you add even more flavors and textures — or even dress up the three staple ingredients — can be downright indulgent and worthy of both breakfast and dessert.

On Saturday's “secrets” episode of The Kitchen, the cast revealed little-known tricks for upgrading some of your favorite dishes and common pantry items in new, bold ways. Enter French toast. By using extra-special bread, making a creamy custard with warm spices and finishing the dish with sweet toppings, the co-hosts transformed this go-to dish into a next-level winner.

The secret to Marcela Valladolid’s Cafe de la Olla French Toast is the challah bread. Sweet and moist, this soft bread is packed with plenty of rich flavor on its own. She opts to cut it into thick slices to make sure there’s room for a pocket that she stuffs with chocolate-pecan filling. .3

When it comes to the egg mixture, follow Marcela’s lead and add a pinch of fragrant cinnamon for gentle warmth in the silky custard; the flavor will seep into the bread during its pre-cooking bath. Maple syrup is a go-to topping, of course, but Marcela goes one step further. She brings the ingredients that are inside the golden-brown French toast — the chopped pecans and Mexican chocolate — to the outside of it as well, by pairing it with sweet syrup.

Geoffrey Zakarian, too, uses challah bread, in his quick-fix recipe for an easy French Toast “Jubilee,” though he flavors the cream-based custard with a splash of almond extract and a bit of cardamom. This time you can skip the syrup topping, as GZ’s rum-spiked sauce is laced with a bit of maple syrup already. His sweet, buttery mixture is inspired by the timeless dessert of cherries jubilee and features maraschino cherries, along with fresh lemon juice for bright flavor.

Tune in to The Kitchen on Saturdays at 11a|10c.

Next Up

MTN Dew Releases Two New Baja Flavors

The original Baja Blast is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Real Budgets and Big Flavors on Big Bad Budget Battle

Ree Drummond hosts the all-new series premiering Tuesday Aug. 9 at 10|9c.

Doritos Launches New Tangy Tamarind Flavor

A common ingredient in Hispanic and South Asian cuisines, tamarind is about to bring bold flavor to the American snack staple.

Dunkaroos Releases New Flavor: Orange Sherbet

The limited-edition flavor pairs the brand’s classic vanilla cookies with "indulgent orange sherbet frosting."

How to Make French Toast Perfectly

French toast is a satisfying comfort food for any time of day. Check out a step-by-step how-to from the experts in Food Network Kitchen for perfect slices, every time.

McDonald’s Brings Back Its Fan-Favorite Double Big Mac

The item was cut due to pandemic-era menu streamlining, and is finally returning after a four-year hiatus.

Starbucks’ New Summer Drinks Will Bring You Back

Its White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew and Chocolate Java Mint Frapp are inspired by "nostalgic summer flavors."

10 Nutritionist-Approved Spice Blends That Bring Plenty of Flavor

Reduce some of your salt intake without compromising on deliciousness.