almond crusted French toast, manuka honey

Almond Crusted French Toast with Whipped Ricotta and Manuka Honey

Looking for a brunch dish your friends and family will remember? Well, this almond crusted French toast—topped with fluffy whipped ricotta and perfectly balanced Manuka honey syrup—is definitely the place to start! Easter may have passed, along with another chance to show off some baking skills, but never was there a better a chance to casually pull off such an intricate, deliciously sweet meal than this one. The name of the dish itself may seem like a mouth full and a daunting task at that, but don’t let that stop you! This French toast recipe is surprisingly easy to undertake–simple enough for the beginner, but with enough steps to keep the veteran intrigued. Whether it’s the Manuka honey, the orange blend, the slight cinnamon spice, or the creamy filling, this dish is one well worth the effort and the reward.

Ingredients for Almond Crusted French Toast

For the filling:

  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • Zest from 1 orange

For the syrup:

  • ¾ cup Manuka honey
  • Juice of ½ an orange
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the French toast:

  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Small splash of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 thick slices of challah or brioche bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions for Almond Crusted French Toast

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in orange zest.
  3. In another smaller bowl, whisk the Manuka honey, orange juice, and cinnamon. Add 3 tablespoons of this mixture to the ricotta mixture and stir. Reserve the rest for the topping.
  4. In a shallow wide bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Spread the sliced almonds out on a plate.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt half the butter in the skillet.
  7. Dip half the bread slices in the egg mixture, letting them soak in for about 5 seconds on each side.
  8. Place sides of the bread in the almonds, pressing them into the side. Put the bread in the melted butter and grill until browned, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Put the finished bread on an ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet and repeat with remaining bread slices.
  10. Bake the grilled bread in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. If desired, heat the honey mixture (saved for the topping) on the stove top or in the microwave. Serve the French toast slices with a dollop of the ricotta mixture and the honey mixture.
  11. Yields 4 servings, with only 30 minutes of prepping and cooking total. Enjoy!  

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