Sabrina Ghaynor, known as the “the golden girl of Persian cookery,” has a new collection of recipes out for the Middle Eastern food enthusiast in us all. Part Old World, part modern cuisine, Sirocco is a beautiful representation of one of the world’s most vibrant food cultures.
Doughnuts are a weakness of mine. Mind you, not just any old doughnut will do. I like mine without any filling, rolled in sugar, and no strong flavors. For me, simple is always best. This dish was inspired by domestic goddess Nigella Lawson’s doughnut French toast recipe from her book Nigella Express, which became a family favorite. While I love ordinary French toast, I tend to alternate between cinnamon and cardamom flavors for this recipe, so if you want to go with the cinnamon version, omit the cardamom and add 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon to the superfine sugar instead.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Seeds from 4 green cardamom pods, ground using a mortar and pestle
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or use vanilla extract)
- 4 slices of brioche, each 1 inch thick
- 1/4 cup butter
For the French toast
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Combine the sugar and cardamom powder in a bowl until evenly blended. Pour the mixture onto a flat plate and smooth it out.
Put the eggs, milk, orange zest and vanilla paste in a bowl and beat until evenly combined.
Pour into a shallow dish with a flat base and soak 2 slices of brioche in the mixture for about 45 seconds before flipping them over and soaking for another 45 seconds. Meanwhile, melt half the butter in the warm pan. Fry the 2 soaked slices of brioche for 2 minutes on each side until puffed up (which indicates that the egg is cooked) and golden brown.
Immediately place the cooked brioche slices in the cardamom sugar, coating it well on both sides, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 slices of brioche. Serve immediately.