We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted to talk about his cookbook, "Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy: Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life" — but we wanted to talk about decadent brunches instead.
Home cooks, here is how to make Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast with Fresh Berry Compote. It's made to serve four, so invite a few friends over for a leisurely Sunday brunch.
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 slices good-quality whole wheat bread, each about 1 inch thick, halved diagonally
Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
Fresh berry compote:
¾ cup fresh blueberries
¾ cup fresh raspberries
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3 ounces fresh orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
Pinch of kosher salt
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Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Fresh berries (optional)
For the French toast:
• In a large, wide bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
• Over medium heat, heat a heavy nonstick skillet, or a pair of skillets, large enough to hold all the French toast slices in a single layer without crowding. Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture, turning them and making sure they are completely saturated.
• Spray the heated skillet or skillets with nonstick cooking spray. Add the soaked bread pieces and cook until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes total.
• Meanwhile, prepare the fresh berry compote: In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the blueberries, raspberries, honey, orange zest, orange juice, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and continue simmering just until the berries have given up some of their juices and have turned slightly syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and keep warm.
• Assemble the dish: Arrange two slices of the French toast on each of four heated serving plates. Spoon some of the compote over each serving. If you like, spoon a little confectioners’ sugar into a small, fine-mesh sieve held over each plate and tap the sieve lightly to dust the French toast; then, garnish with fresh berries. Serve immediately, passing more fresh berry compote at the table.