French toast, as a homemade dish, used to intimidate me. I only made it a few times in my pre-vegan days, and the first vegan go at it was a freaking disaster; a tasty disaster, but a disaster no less. The bread could end up too soggy, you could have goo stuck all over the pan, which means that you won’t get that crispy outside and soft inside. But, I’ve experimented a few time since then and I think I finally have the hang of it!
Part of the solution is this waffle-maker/griddle that I found in my cabinet. On one side, the plates make thin, ornate waffles; on the other side are griddle plates for pressing sandwiches, making pancakes or in this case, making some seriously awesome french toast. I used it on its “waffle/low” setting, which was still pretty damn hot.
I had made a deluxe french toast like this once before, for Vegan Cuts Fall Harvest eBook, with a fig spread that was oh-so-delectable. You could shortcut the pumpkin spread by using premade pumpkin or apple butter, in this recipe. I did a shortcut myself, by using store-bought vegan cream cheese, but you could make a cashew cream for that instead!
So, if you need a Fall brunch item, you should definitely try this Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast out. Topped with crunchy, roasted hazelnuts and sweet maple syrup, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser for all of your guests! I think it would be super easy to turn this into a french toast casserole as well, to save prep time and feed a larger group.
One Year Ago: Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Two Years Ago: Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs
Three Years Ago: Supremely Green Smoothie
Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast
A comforting and deluxe version of a brunch favorite, this Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast is sure to please!
2/3 cup Very Ripe Banana, Peeled
1/3 cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
2 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Vegan cream cheese
4 – 1“ thick slices French Bread (or a similar loaf)
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- Using a food processor, puree the banana, non-dairy milk, chickpea, nutritional yeast, cinnamon and salt together until smooth. Pour into a shallow bowl and set aside to gel a little.
- Rinse out the food processor and place the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt into it. Process until it creates a smooth paste.
- Take each slice of bread and cut it halfway down the middle, then cut the pocket a little deeper through the mouth of the hole.
- Spread one side of the pocket with a tablespoon of cream cheese and spoon some pumpkin filling into the pocket. Repeat 3 more times.
- Warm a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat with a very thin coating of cooking spray. Once hot, dunk each side of the french toast into the banana mixture and let the excess drip off.
- Place it on the skillet and cook until the bottom, outer edges are brown; around 5 minutes (you can check carefully by lifting up the corner of the toast with a spatula).
- Then use a thin spatula to flip, making sure to get completely under the bread and coating so that it does not tear off.
- Cook the other side until it browns, press down on the toast lightly to cook it evenly. Repeat for steps 4-6 for the remaining three toasts.
- To keep warm, you can put the toast in the oven at 200°F while you make the rest of them.
- Top with hazelnuts and drizzle with maple syrup (although not necessary) and serve.