There aren't many brunch recipes these days that have the capacity to really turn our heads at RealHomes, but this festive candied bacon with cheesy French toast recipe is something else. It's all the things one shouldn't have, and you'll want to banish the memory of it come January, but oh boy, it's delicious. Go on, when are you gonna have this if not in freezing mid-December?
Of course, with this sort of dish, the quality of the ingredients is everything, so we'd get the finest free range bacon we can find and organic veggies if possible.
Festive Candied Bacon With Cheesy French Toast
- 1 free-range egg
- 135g dry cured smoked streaky bacon
- 125g cherry tomatoes
- 1 onion marmalade pot (20g)
- 5g chives
- 1 balsamic vinegar sachet (15ml
- 35g grated italian hard cheese
- 2 ciabatta rolls
- 1 tomato paste sachet
- 20g pea shoots
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C (fan)/ 395°F/ Gas 6. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
2. Add the smoked streaky bacon to one side of a baking paper-lined baking tray. Sprinkle 1 tsp [2 tsp] sugar over the bacon. Add the sliced tomatoes to the other side of the tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the tray in the oven for 15-20 min or until the bacon is golden and the tomatoes have softened.
3. Meanwhile, heat a pot over a medium heat. Add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and onion marmalade with 2 tbsp [4 tbsp] cold water and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-4 min or until thickened – this is your easy balsamic ketchup. Once done, set aside to cool.
4. Once the ketchup is done, slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Crack the egg[s] into a large bowl and add 125ml [250ml] milk and the grated Italian hard cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk everything together until smooth – this is your cheesy mixture.
5. Dip the halved ciabatta into the cheesy mixture until it's been absorbed by the bread.
Tip: You may need to double dip to absorb all of the mixture!
6. Heat a large, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a generous knob of butter over a medium-high heat. Once melted, add the soaked ciabatta and cook for 3-4 min on each side or until golden and crisp – this is your cheesy French toast.
Tip: Cooking for 4? Use another pan or just fry the bread in batches!
7. Whilst the bread is cooking, chop the chives finely. Wash the pea shoots, then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
8. Top the cheesy French toast with a dollop of the easy balsamic ketchup, candied bacon and a sprinkling of chopped chives. Serve with the roasted tomatoes and the pea shoots to the side.