From Anthony Myint
One night at the original Mission Street Food pop-up restaurant in San Francisco, faced with the demands of coming up with a new dessert each night with scant time and space, Anthony Myint served milk toast. But he gave it a little flash by caramelizing a buttery, sugary crust onto slices of brioche and serving them in warm, chamomile-scented cream.
You can’t eat this and not be happy. A loud, unflinching bite of the broiled, sugared toast is a joy matched only by the crack of a spoon breaking through the glassy top of a crème brûlée. The airy toast will have drunk up the warm, milky puddle like a tres leches cake while the candied top floats above it, keeping its crunch pristine.
When would you serve it, besides a quiet moment alone? A weeknight dinner party. A brunch. Valentine’s Day. An afternoon snack for your children, if you don’t want your children to ever eat plain toast again.
In his Mission Street Food cookbook, Myint includes a chart of 13 twists on French Toast Crunch, from matcha to baklava. You can vary the flavors endlessly, but this is comfort food, so you can also just revel in keeping it simple.
- In a small saucepan, warm the half-and-half over medium heat until small bubbles appear at the edges and it’s almost at a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the chamomile. Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Stir in the tablespoon of condensed milk, taste, then add more if you like. (Save the rest of the can for sweetening ice coffee.) Keep warm.
- Generously butter one side of each slice of bread, all the way to the edges, using as much as 2 tablespoons per slice. Broil the buttered bread on both sides, starting buttered side up, until the edges are lightly browned—watch it closely.
- Spread the sugar in a shallow dish and dip the buttered side of each piece of toast in the sugar, then sprinkle on a little more sugar to make sure it’s evenly coated. Broil the toast again, sugared side up, just till the toast is well browned and crackly, again watching closely so that it doesn’t burn. (Alternatively, use a kitchen torch to brûlée the sugared toast on a flameproof rack set over a baking sheet. Holding the torch nozzle 2 to 3 inches [5 to 7.5cm] above the toast, move it slowly across the surface of the bread slices. Carefully tip the pan as needed to coax melted sugar toward unmelted sugar. Avoid torching the edges—uncovered bread could ignite.)
- To serve, spoon the warm milk into 4 shallow bowls, then place a piece of brûléed toast in each bowl. Serve immediately with spoons.
Reprinted from Food52 Genius Desserts. Copyright © 2018 by Kristen Miglore. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.