This French toast ice cream tastes just like the real thing! Infused with cinnamon French toast & full of brown butter & maple brioche pieces, this is a next level flavour!

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french toast ice cream scoop

Today’s post is an exciting one because it’s the 100th recipe to go live on my blog!

I only started Salt. Butter. Smoke. at the beginning of this year so this feels like a big milestone & I’d to thank everyone who’s read my blog, made a recipe or liked any of my stuff on social media. It’s appreciated!!

To celebrate, this recipe needed to be properly good & this ice cream is definitely that! Here, we’re infusing a vanilla custard with cinnamon French toast, churning it then mixing in some crunchy, brown butter & maple brioche pieces. It’s rich, creamy & lightly spiced. It also goes incredibly well with a drizzle of maple syrup…

What Is French Toast?

French toast consists of bread dunked in a simple custard (eggs, milk, sugar) then pan fried until crisp. This dish is usually served at breakfast & the most popular flavour would have to be cinnamon, which is what we are using for this ice cream.

How To Flavour Ice Cream With French Toast

The flavour & texture of cinnamon French toast is incorporated into our ice cream in a couple of ways.

The first way is to infuse the custard base with homemade, cinnamon French toast & the other is to mix in crunchy pieces of caramelised brioche into the freshly churned ice cream. The result is a creamy, cinnamon flavoured ice cream with pieces of nutty, toasted brioche in every scoop!

brown butter brioche
Caramelised brioche pieces

What You Will Need

Brioche

It’s no secret that brioche makes the best French toast. We’ll need 6 slices in total & if you’re cutting your own slices, they should each be 1.5cm thick.

Cinnamon

You can’t make French toast without cinnamon! For this recipe, we’re using it to make the French toast & to flavour the ice cream custard.

Vanilla

Using a small amount of vanilla adds another layer of flavour to our ice cream. I’d recommend using a high quality vanilla paste or half a pod.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a classic pairing for French toast. To avoid changing up the composition of the ice cream, we will be flavouring the brioche mix in pieces with maple syrup, instead of adding it to the custard.

If you want the full French toast flavour, I’d recommend serving the ice cream with a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

Butter

A small amount of brown butter is used to flavour our caramelised brioche pieces. If you’d like more information on brown butter, take a look at my how to make brown butter guide.

Milk & Cream

We’re using whole milk & double/heavy cream for this recipe as they contain the most fat. In ice cream, the right amount of fat will give us a smoother texture & a rich flavour. It will also make the ice cream easier to scoop.

Sugar

Light brown sugar & glucose syrup are used for this batch of ice cream. Both of these add sweetness & the glucose helps prevent ice crystals forming. This makes the ice cream smooth & creamy. We’re using light brown sugar for it’s deep, caramelised flavour.

Milk Powder

Without getting into the science too much, milk powder absorbs water & helps emulsify the ice cream which in turn, adds creaminess. Using the right amount is crucial as too much milk powder will turn the ice cream gritty. I use Nestle’s whole milk powder.

cinnamon toast

How To Make French Toast Ice Cream

Step 1 – Make Cinnamon French Toast

The first step is to make French toast. To do this, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla & salt in a shallow bowl. Dip a brioche slice into the egg mix & leave it to soak for 30 seconds – 1 minute on each side (the bread should be well soaked but not falling apart).

Next, pan fry the bread over a medium heat until golden brown & crisp all over. This will take around 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat the soaking & cooking process with the remaining 3 slices of bread then chop the French toast into chunks.

Step 2 – Infusing The Cream

Next, it’s time to infuse the cream for the custard base. For this, heat double cream & cinnamon over a low heat, until steaming then remove from the heat & stir in the pieces of French toast. Cover the pan with a lid & leave to steep for at least an hour.

Step 3 – Making The Custard

To make the custard, we take the infused cream & pass it through a sieve into a jug, pressing as much liquid out of the bread as possible. We now need to weigh how much cream there is & top it up with more double cream if necessary (we need 250g in total).

The next step is to place the cream, milk, ½ the light brown sugar, glucose, vanilla & salt into a saucepan then they are whisked together & placed over a low heat until steaming.

Next, egg yolks & the remaining sugar are whisked together then tempered with some of the hot cream. We then add this mix back into the saucepan & cook out until it is thick. We’re taking the custard to a temperature of 82°c/180°f to ensure that the yolks are cooked enough.

For a super smooth texture, we blitz the custard with a stick blender then pass it through a sieve.

Once cooked, the custard needs to cool down then get refrigerated overnight. This helps the flavour develop & also means that the custard will be cold when it goes into the ice cream machine, shortening the churn time.

Step 4 – Brown Butter Brioche Pieces

Now it’s time to make the caramelised brioche pieces.

First, brown a small amount of butter over a medium heat then set aside to cool slightly. Next, chop 2 slices of brioche into 1 cm pieces & place into a mixing bowl along with the sugar & a pinch of salt.

Add in the cooled brown butter & maple syrup, mix to coat then transfer the brioche to a baking tray. The pieces of bread are then baked until golden brown & crispy then left to cool completely. The final step is to cut the brioche into a mix of small & large pieces. This adds more texture to the ice cream & cutting them after cooking means that they cook evenly.

The brioche pieces can be made a day in advance & should be stored in an airtight container.

Step 5 – Churning

The next day, the ice cream will be ready to churn. To do this, we pour the chilled custard into an ice cream machine & churn until it is the consistency of soft serve. If you take the temperature with a food probe, it will be around -5°c/23°f.

Once the ice cream has finished churning, we mix in the brioche pieces, transfer to a container then leave to set in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

churned

Homemade Ice Cream Tips & Tricks

  • Chill your custard overnight for a better flavour & texture.
  • Dip your scoop in hot water for easier scooping!
  • Set your freezer to 18°c/-1°f for the best set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an ice cream machine?

For the best results, you will need to use an ice cream machine. These can be picked up online for various price points but the investment is worth it!

Do I have to use brioche?

For the best French toast, I would definitely recommend using brioche but white or brown bread would work as well. If you’re cutting your own brioche slices, they should be 1.5 cm thick.

How long does homemade ice cream keep for?

Homemade ice creams are best eaten within 2 weeks of being frozen. After this time, large ice crystals will start to form, affecting the texture.

Do I need to use glucose?

For the best texture & for easy scooping, you will need to use glucose. This can be found in most supermarkets or online.

churning custard

Equipment Used

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Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Review

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French Toast Ice Cream

This French toast ice cream tastes just like the real thing! Infused with cinnamon French toast & full of brown butter & maple brioche pieces, this is a next level flavour!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time15 minutes
Churning Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Servings: 6 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Ice Cream Machine
  • Stick Blender
  • Digital Food Probe
  • Large Saucepan
  • Small Saucepan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Sieve
  • Baking Tray
  • 1 Litre Tub

Ingredients

French Toast Infused Cream

  • 300 g Double Cream Plus Extra If Needed, See Notes
  • 4 Slices Brioche 1½ cm Thick
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 100 g Whole Milk
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp Maldon Salt
  • Vegetable Oil For Frying

Ice Cream

  • 420 g Whole Milk
  • 130 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 40 g Glucose Syrup
  • 25 g Whole Milk Powder
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Paste Or Half A Pod
  • ¼ tsp Maldon Salt
  • 85 g Egg Yolks

Brown Butter Brioche Pieces

  • 25 g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Slices Brioche 1½ cm Thick
  • 15 g Caster Sugar
  • Pinch Maldon Salt
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup

Instructions

French Toast Infused Cream

  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, vanilla & salt.
  • Place a large frying pan over a medium heat & add in a tablespoon of veg oil.
  • Next, dip a slice of brioche into the egg mix & leave to soak for 30 seconds – 1 minute on each side. The bread should be well soaked but not falling apart!
  • Quickly transfer the soaked brioche into the frying pan & cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. The French toast should be golden brown & crisp all over.
  • Repeat with the remaining brioche slices then set the French toast aside.
    Depending on the size of your frying pan, you might be able to cook several pieces of bread at the same time. Make sure to add more veg oil to the pan if needed.
  • Next, add the double cream & 1 tsp of cinnamon into a medium sized saucepan, whisk together then place over a low heat until steaming hot.
    Whilst the cream is heating up, roughly chop the French toast.
  • Once the cream is hot, remove it from the heat & stir in the pieces of French toast. Cover with a lid & leave to steep for at least an hour.

Ice Cream

  • Pass the French toast flavoured cream into a jug, through a sieve, squeezing as much liquid out of the bread as possible.
  • Next, place a medium saucepan onto a set of scales & pour in the infused cream. If necessary, top up with double cream so there's 250 grams of cream in total.
  • To the cream, add the milk, ½ the light brown sugar, glucose, vanilla & salt.
    If you're using a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds & add in both the seeds & pod.
  • Whisk to combine then place over a low heat.
  • In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolks & remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • When the milk is steaming (don't let it boil!), pour a third into the yolks, whisking as you do so.
    This is called tempering the yolks.
  • Pour the now tempered yolks back into the saucepan then cook over a low heat until the custard reaches 82°c, making sure to stir constantly with a rubber spatula.
  • Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla pod (if using) then give the custard a quick blitz with a stick blender.
  • Pass into a bowl, through a sieve & leave to cool, stirring occasionally.
  • Once cool, place a piece of baking paper onto the custard’s surface & refrigerate overnight.

Brown Butter Brioche Pieces

  • Preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (355°f/320°f).
  • Place the butter into a small saucepan then cook over a medium heat until brown. Transfer the brown butter to a bowl & leave to cool slightly.
  • Next, chop the brioche into 1 cm wide pieces & add into a mixing bowl.
    Sprinkle over the sugar & salt then pour in the brown butter & maple syrup.
  • Stir together, so that all the brioche is coated in butter then transfer to a baking tray.
    Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the brioche pieces are crispy & a deep golden brown.
  • Leave to cool completely then chop the bread up so there's a mix of small & larger pieces. If you're making these in advance, store in an airtight container.

Churning

  • The next day, pour the chilled custard into an ice cream machine & churn until it is the consistency of soft serve. If you take the temperature with a digital food probe, it will register roughly -5°c/23°f.
  • Once churned, stir in the brioche pieces then transfer the ice cream into a 1 litre tub.
  • Leave to set in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Notes

To cook the French toast on an Aga, use the boiling plate. Cook the custard on the simmering plate & bake the brioche pieces in the centre of the baking oven.
Homemade ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
I would recommend using Nestle’s whole milk powder.

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