I get crazy ideas all the time but I realised that my best ones stem from the need to use up leftover ingredients. Say, if you give me a bar of chocolate I take a great deal longer to come up with something good than if you just ask me to finish up a bowl of ganache, and even so it may not be entirely spectacular. Maybe it's because leftovers narrow down my available options , them already being in a certain state and all, so I can just concentrate on expanding on the few ideas I conjure up.
My inspiration for this week is leftover pancakes. I made a pancake stack a few days ago and I was debating between letting my brother eat the extras or making something else with them and in the end, unsurprisingly, I chose the latter. Dorayaki came to mind but I'd made the pancakes a little too big so after a few seconds of consideration I thought of french toasting them. The decision was made quicker than I thought - I guess my sweet tooth subconsciousness has never forgotten about a certain japanese french toast recipe that I'd bookmarked way back.
The pancakes aren't as porous as the bread I'm supposed to use but they still managed to soak up a considerable amount of the sweet eggy custard. The great thing about this recipe is that the pancakes/bread cook up light and fluffy while the innards remain soft, custardy and moist due to the unique cooking method. After frying the pieces of pancakes/bread lightly on one side, you flip them over, adjust the heat to low and clamp a lid over the pan so that you're actually somewhat steaming them. If I had used slices of bread and had the custard fully permeating ever nook and cranny of them they would have expanded in size the resemble puffy golden cushions. I suggest that you take a look at the link below to see what I mean.) The only downside to this recipe is that you need the foresight to soak the bread at least 24 hours before.
This recipe makes french toasts on the sweet side so you don't have to drown them in syrup but please, by all means, dollop a generous scoop of freshly whipped cream on top because it makes your morning that much more beautiful.
French Toast Pancakes
egg custard recipe adapted from here
4 thick and fluffy pancakes, torn into large chunks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Start preparing at least 24 hours before you plan to cook. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Pour into a large shallow dish and submerge the pancake pieces in the custard. After 12 hours flip the pancakes around to immerse the other side in custard as well.
When you're ready to cook, heat a pan on low heat and add a bit of butter or oil. Fry a few pancake pieces on one side for about 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned then flip them over. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the pancakes have expanded, at least 5 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and continue cooking the rest.