Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Breakfast #18: French Toast with Blueberry Syrup

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It’s been happy market weekends for me lately…it being summer and produce being plentiful. Despite feeling like I’m in a perpetual sauna, I’m enjoying all that the markets have to offer (along with the weekend trips and the general holiday-like feeling that summer brings). Our gorgeous mangoes are even more gorgeous in the summer and I have been religiously buying them every chance I get (it’s my duty!). This is the perfect season to go to the market with no menu plans in mind…to just let the day’s bounty inspire you, like I did with the carrots and fennel and tomatoes (well, the tomatoes kinda came to me).

As if the season weren't enough, ingenious and determined citizens are growing things like wild rocket, mizuna, kaffir lime, Vietnamese mint, fennel, galangal, butternut squash, and all sorts of goodness. All in all, exciting days for market-goers!

Now, I have bemoaned our lack of berries before. Strawberries are the often-found berries around here. They grow in our mountain province in the North where the climate is more to their liking. Blueberries too, grow up there, but don’t make it down to us as often as the strawberries do.

The produce gods must have been smiling down at me though, because I chanced upon a box of them in the same stall that sold the butternut squash last year. The berries were tiny…much smaller than imported blueberries. They are also less sweet (some were a little sour). But they were local blueberries, and I wasn’t leaving the market without some, so I bought a small 100-gram bag.

Now, what to do with these less then sweet berries? I pondered the possibilities. Visions of blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes danced in my head but I feared that the berries weren’t sweet enough. So I decided to do the logical and just add sugar :)

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Blueberry Syrup
  • 100 grams Baguio blueberries
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

- Place all ingredients in a pan over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens. Swish contents of pan around occasionally to avoid burning.

Yes, that’s all! The syrup was dark and glossy and delicious…and just begging to be poured onto something equally delicious – French toast! I used my basic French toast recipe (perfect for a solo breakfast), but substituted Swiss zopf, a challah-like bread that my mum-in-law gives me (which C doesn’t really eat, so I have loaves of it in the freezer, just waiting for meals like these!). I am not making French toast using any other bread ever! You can serve this with a dollop of cream or yogurt…but I prefer my French toast slathered in butter, before pouring on the blueberry syrup. Be generous!

The taste? Oh MY! Have you ever experienced a foot-pop? A foot-pop is what happens when you receive a kiss of such magnitude and dizzying bliss that one knee bends, and your foot “pops” upwards, toes pointing to the sky. You have seen it happen in countless of old movies, and explained by the endearing Mia of Princess Diaries. Well, my dears, it happened to me as I was standing by my kitchen counter eating this! Foot-POP!

If you have just one serving of French toast, as I did here, you will have some blueberry syrup leftover…and soon I’ll show you just what to do with it! :)

39 comments:

Franco said...

OMG. That looks amazing, Joey. How did I miss that at the Market?! I love Blueberries! I've wanting to make a french toast sandwich with a blueberry filling for a while now. Must get around to it. :)

Manggy said...

Ah, always a winning combination! It's been a long age since I've had French toast-- those 2-inch thick monstrosities at UCC don't count! You always have good market karma, Joey :) I can't remember the last time I went to a true-blue gourmet market.. I've sadly exiled myself at home, leaving only for Church/gym (no, that's not a combination place... Imagine that!) to maximize study time :( With my luck, by the time I can go back to being carefree with my food choices, everything will be out of season already!

(PS I thought you bought those exPENsive blueberries, for P190 or so for 200 grams! Baguio blueberries, even if less sweet, are always welcome!)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG! That looks gorgeously tempting and delicious! I love French Toast and blueberries, so that'd be a hit with me!

Cheers,

Rosa

Veron said...

Joey, this is such a yummy looking breakfast - just look at that syrup. And i envy you your harvest of Philippine mangoes!

Marvin said...

Those are little berries, but they do look like they pack a punch. Can't wait to see what you do with the leftover syrup.

katrina said...

OMG, total synchronicity! I was just thinking of you today because, a) I had breakfast food for lunch (the best time for it, really); and b) I cooked some bacon...but not just any ordinary bacon, I made that brown-sugared bacon (AKA Billionaire's Bacon or Candied Bacon) that Nena told us about! Ooohhh, it was amazing, you must try it! Like bacon+tocino+brittle (I used muscovado, since that's what I had).

To go with the bacon (gotta have carbs), I decided that the Del Monte Farm bread F had brought home would be great for...you guessed it, French Toast! While eating it all, I couldn't help but think that you would've loved my lunch. And now I see that you ate almost the same thing! This must be the first time that I've read your blog and didn't feel envious about the food. ;-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Franco! They were in a small cardboard box…I would have missed them myself if I hadn’t had my nose right smack in their veggies. The stall is a small one selling vegetables on the side of the market where they sell the roasted baka. They are somewhere in between the Chinese lumpia stall and the tinapang bangus/ensaymada/empanada stall beside the bayongs :)

Hi Manggy! Don’t worry! You are doing something very important and we will all be needing your expertise at some point…so keep it up and best of luck! Good market karma --- ooh! I love that and I truly hope so :) My marketing time is often my “me time” as well so I’m full of happy, peaceful vibes when I’m there :) I have seen those imported blueberries (and raspberries) around and believe me I have been sorely tempted! But yes, they are expensive so I’ve always put off buying any!

Thanks Rosa! I would have loved to share so with you :)

Hi Veron! I’m having them everyday…I’ll have extra for you and you have an extra macaron for me ok? :)

Hi Marvin! Aren’t they tiny? They look even smaller “in person” :) But in this syrup size doesn’t matter :)

Hi Katrina! Woohoo! I’m so thrilled at the synchronicity, for one, and for the absolute awesome-ness of what you whipped up, for another! Isn’t it the best when you make something you totally love? :) And yes, I certainly would have loved your lunch…and may just be making it myself one of these days! I really have to try the bacon brittle soon! Now, I’m the one who is envious reading your comment :)

mtan said...

Baguio blueberries sort of fill the definition of locavore right? I hope they keep growing them, and like their strawberry sisters, may not ever get to the same size and sweetness of the US cousins, but a hint of tartness is always good. I'm looking forward to reading the second installment in your blueberry saga.

christine said...

Yum!! I'm envious! I love berries and I miss having them so readily available when I lived in London. Fruis of the forest! My mouth is watering from the picture!

Dhanggit said...

oh this look so delicious!! what a way to start your morning!! btw Im tagging you on your top ten best picks of your photos!! i would love to see your fave best photos..that is if you'd like to do this tag :-)

kisses,
dhanggit

Gattina said...

Genius! turning the less sweet berries to taste-popping syrup! Bravo!

canDIshhh said...

What a way to start the day!!

I love berries! How I wish there were sold here - fresh!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Joey, can I please, pretty please have breakfast at your place? ;)

Jescel said...

wow.. lucky you! i'm originally from cebu and strawberries or blueberries never reach down there..

Suzana said...

Holy cow! Joey, I absolutely love the look of it! What time do you have breakfast at your place? ;)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Save some for me please! Gosh, French Toast with blueberry syrup - that would make my Sunday!

Lina said...

what a simple and wonderful recipe! It looks like its BURSTING with flavor~!!!

Lori said...

Most scintillating cover photo, Joey. I too have been experimenting with blueberries, although of the frozen sort.

Kai said...

I used to buy blueberries at the Baguio market and just eat them fresh with cottage cheese, along with some apples and bananas, for dinner, heh heh. Diet. I miss those days. A bit tart, yes, with big seeds. I even included blueberries in the Baguio fresh produce "loot bags" assembled for my wedding sponsors. I hope what they did with it is as nice as yours. Good Shepherd uses these berries for their bluberry topping.

LyB said...

I love the color of blueberries, so bright and intense. That syrup sounds so delicious! Sometimes, when I feel lazy, I just mix the blueberries right into some maple syrup and warm it up to serve on pancakes or French toast, it's really nice.

ChichaJo said...

Hi M! I guess they do! Although I can’t say I am totally 100% -- I will still sell my soul for the Brussels sprouts, which are imported. And Nutella. Haha! Plus, is Baguio within the mile-radius required to be considered local? But any way you look at it, I also hope they keep growing them, and I will keep buying them and finding ways to use them :)

Hi Nens! You can get them at Salcedo, albeit not as big or as sweet as their Western cousins :)

Hi Dhanggit! Thanks! :) I’ll check it out…sounds great, but no promises because I am a horribly delinquent “tag-ee”!

Thanks Gattina! The best part was enjoying the fruits of my labor :)

Hi Candishhh! They are! These ones here are local, grown in Baguio and sold at the Salcedo market. You can also get fresh imported ones which are bigger and sweeter but more expensive at Rustans and S&R sometimes :)

Hi Patricia! Anytime! :)

Hi Jescel! Well you are lucky to have some of the most delicious lechon in the country! :)

Hi Suzana! Anytime :) I am easy as long as there’s a yummy breakfast waiting for me!

Hi Tanna! Will do! :) You can have this on a weekday too! If you make the syrup ahead of time putting everything together is a snap :)

Hi Lina! It does pack a lot of flavor…and it’s so simple to make!

Hi Lori! Thank you! :) I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Hi Kai! Your diet dinner sounds lovely…and I can only imagine the wonderful things you would get at the markets there! But wait…a “Baguio fresh produce loot bag” for your wedding sponsors??? What a fantastic sponsor gift!!!

Hi Lyb! I love the color too…it was a joy to photograph, to look at, and to eat! :) Will try it with maple syrup next time…that sounds great!

oggi said...

What a perfect breakfast combination!
Lovely yummy photos too.:)

Shannon said...

Oh wow! How delicious! I wish I would have found this recipe on Saturday so I could have passed it along to the hubby as a hint for Mother's Day! Nonetheless, he will be cooking these babies up this weekend! I love your blog and thanks so much for sharing!!

Hetal said...

hey this recipe looks delicious,

Meeta said...

you know i've just had dinner but i want this breakfast as dessert. it looks spectacular!

Bordeaux said...

You never fail to impress! Markets are incredible. We live close to a very informal little market that always has amazing fresh ingredients. And for a steal! We're trying to frequent it a lot more these days.

Private Chef said...

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ChichaJo said...

Thanks Oggi! I was really yummy! :)

Hi Shannon! Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment! Lucky you to have a nice hubby-french toast maker :)

Thanks Hetal :)

Hi Meeta! I could have this for dessert too :)

Hi Bordeaux! Thank you :) I love having a market near by...and those "informal little" ones are the most charming usually :)

silicone_spatula said...

baguio grows blueberries?wow! where is this market that sells them?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Silicone Spatula! Thanks for dropping by! I found them at the Saturday Salcedo Market in Makati :)

silicone_spatula said...

thanks for the info! how much are they?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Silicone Spatula! Left a comment on your site...the Baguio blueberries are P70 per 100 gram pack. I've already made another batch of syrup, which also goes great with yogurt!

silicone_spatula said...

yes, i've read the comment. thanks for the info! i've seen blueberry syrups in landmark, makati supermart and metro gaisano. i just wanted to let you know, just in case you can't make them ^_^

Bearbrick Lover: said...

Grabe, that looks so sarap! Is there a place where I can eat something close to how that looks?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Silicone Spatula! Thanks for the heads up :)

Hi BBL! Thanks :) There is a place and it is very near your office, heehee ;) Seriously, it is a snap to make! Almost too easy! But if you want you, K, and S can come over before work for breakfast one day...I still have a lot of this bread in the freezer!

Mikky said...

very interesting blog you have here... i always been on a look-out for variety of breakfast for hubby... thanks for sharing...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mikky! Thanks for stopping by and glad to be of service! :)

chris said...

Being that I am originally from the US, I am very akin to eating breakfasts with blueberries but it's been a while. I usually would put them in pancakes and not as much on french toast but your's looks amazing. I am so happy to know that they are available here in Baguio. You know, I thought I saw them the other day but it didn't register in my brain until later...damn I should've gone back and got 'em. Well, there's always next time. That's amazing that you were able to get them in Makati. The longer I am here in Baguio, the more I am surprised and impressed by the enormous selection of fresh fruits and veggies, far more than what I'm accustomed to in the US. I would say that I'm more of a strawberry fan and the ones here are some of the best that I've ever had but it's good to know that I can switch up with some blueberries when the mood strikes me. Thanks for the info and the easy and delicious recipe.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Chris! So nice to hear you are enjoying your stay in Baguio as well as its fresh produce! I don't think the blueberries are as prolific as the strawberries but great to know that they are there :) I love Baguio strawberries too!