Mix the mascarpone, honey and cardamom in a bowl with a rubber spatula until well combined; do not overmix. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the milk, cream, granulated sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of the pear brandy and the cinnamon and vanilla; whisk to combine. Pour the rice cereal onto a cookie sheet or large plate.
Dip a slice of challah into the egg mixture and let soak for 1 minute, turning to coat evenly. Let the excess drip off, then place the challah onto the bed of rice cereal; turn to coat completely. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the melted butter onto the skillet and place a slice of coated bread on the butter. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip, add another tablespoon of melted butter and cook until golden, another 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Transfer the cooked slices to a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. The center of the French toast should remain somewhat soft inside.
Cut each slice into 1 inch pieces and stack on a serving plate. Drizzle with the remaining pear brandy (1 1/2 teaspoons per portion), dust with confectioners' sugar and top with a scoop of the mascarpone mixture. Serve with maple syrup on the side.
The mascarpone mixture can be made 1 day ahead.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, Los Angeles, CA