Gulab Jamun French Toast is the sweet breakfast treat that fuses together the best of the East and West. Fluffy French Toast slices stuffed with a cardamon whipped cream with Gulab Jamun bits mixed in. And that’s not all, this Indian stuffed French toast is topped with crushed pistachios and a drizzle of deliciously sweet syrup! Heaven.
Gulab Jamun French Toast is indulgence. It’s an Indian-fusion French toast recipe that adapts a more traditional French toast into a decadent brunch. This is the type of brunch recipe that people will talk about for weeks. It’s perfect for when you’re hosting, or trying to impress someone with something unique or extra special.
What is Gulab Jamun French Toast
This gulab jamun French toast recipe is a fusion brunch. It pairs the popular Indian dessert ‘gulab jamun’ (meaning ‘rose berry’), with a fluffy French toast made using brioche bread. The dish is brought together with a Chantilly cream flavoured with cardamon instead of vanilla, some roughly chopped pistachios for texture, and a drizzle of the sugary syrup that comes with gulab jamuns.
Homemade Gulab Jamun vs Store-bought
There’s no way around it. Freshly made gulab jamun is superior to the frozen variety. However, you don’t necessarily have to make the dessert at home. I recommend visiting your local Indian or Bengali dessert store and picking up a box of freshly made gulab jamuns.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- Pinch of salt
- 6 1-inch thick slices challah bread
- Butter (unsalted), for brushing
Cardamon Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons cardamon, ground
- 1lb gulab jamun (approximately 6 standard pieces), cut in halves and quarters
- Gulab jamun syrup (this is the syrup that the gulab jamun’s come in)
- ⅓ cup pistachios, chopped
As far as fancy French toast recipes go, this one isn’t very difficult to make. It consists of three parts (and all are fairly simple).
Preparing the French Toast
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, cardamom powder, and salt. Ideally the bowl should be long enough and flat enough to dip an entire slice of bread into. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture and set the soaked bread aside on a large tray or plate. How long to soak the bread for will depend on how stale and how thick each slice is – you want the bread soaked through, but not so wet that it starts to fall apart.
Heat a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and brush with butter. Add the soaked bread slices and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. If you’re bread hasn’t cooked through, reduce the heat to low to finish cooking without burning the exteriors.
Make the cardamon whipped cream
Add the whipping cream, sugar, and ground cardamon to a large bowl. Using a stand mixer, or electric hand mixer, whisk together until stiff peak are formed, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside and refrigerate until needed.
Assemble the Gulab Jamun French Toast
Stir some of the quartered gulab jamun pieces into the cardamon whipped cream.
Layer the cooked French toast slices with 1-2 tablespoons of gulab jamun cream mixture between each layer. Garnish the top of your stuffed French toast stack with a generous amount of cream, gulab jamun pieces, and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios. Drizzle the gulab jamun’s sugar syrup as the finishing touch!
All your standard French toast tips will apply here:
- Day-old bread is key. The staleness allows the bread to absorb more liquid without breaking apart. The recipe can be made using fresh bread, but slightly stale bread just works better (after all, it is ‘pain perdu’ meaning ‘lost bread’).
- Don’t over-soak your bread. There’s always a temptation to get ‘as much as possible’ into each slice, but refrain. Too much of the egg mixture in your bread will cause your French toast to break easily.
- Heat management. Switching between medium and low heat is key to making sure you don’t burn your French toast!
What kind of bread to use
You have some flexibility here. I recommend picking either brioche or challah, but sourdough is a well-loved option for French toast. Technically, you can make this recipe with any bread as long as you’re able to soak it, pan fry it, and sandwich it into layers.
I often get asked if a milk or cream substitute can be used to reduce the calories in a recipe. And it’s always a bit of a wishy washy answer I have to give. Yes, kinda. You can substitute the half-and-half for oat milk or almond milk, but it won’t taste as good, or as rich. (Please do keep in mind, this isn’t something I have tested for this exact recipe)
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There are a lot of easy ways you can add variation to this recipe. An easy change that will result in quite a large difference is to swap out the gulab jamun for a different Indian sweet such as rasgulla. It’ll lend a completely different flavor to the recipe.
If you’re looking for some extra brownie points, swap the butter out for ghee (clarified butter) to add even more South Asian flair to the recipe.
You can play with the spices in the recipe – the basic version uses cardamom powder and ground cinnamon, but you get a bit more creative. Try topping your gulab jamun French toast with a few strands of saffron, or mixing a few teaspoons of rose water into the sugar syrup for a more pronounced ‘rose’ taste.
And the easiest variation of all? Just change up the toppings. Use honey or maple syrup instead of the sugar syrup, or add some fresh fruit to the plate.
More sweet French toast recipes
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While there’s no fancypants equipment needed to make this recipe, it will really help to have an electric mixer to prepare the cardamom whipped cream.
And that’s it. That’s everything you need to know (and honestly, probably more!) about Gulab Jamun French Toast. Thoughts? Feelings? Let me know in the comments below.Print