Crunchy Vanilla French Toast with Crème Anglaise (Inspired by Blu Jam Cafe

The day I tried Blu Jam's Crunchy French Toast was the day my life changed. This dish is perhaps my favourite version of French Toast ever and is one of the key reasons Blu Jam is considered one of the best brunch spots in L.A.

Even with the wait, it is totally worth it. Situated on Melrose Avenue, you can put your name on the list, wander off and spend the next 45 minutes shopping before getting seated. The first time that Brian and I tried this dish, we sat there in utter silence savouring each and every bite. I did that thing I often do with dishes I fall madly in love with, and started making a mental note of all of the ingredients in my head so that I could go home and immediately go about recreating it.

Food this good should never be kept a secret. 


I've since made this dish several times with minor changes and one little twist that I highly recommend is the use of frosted cornflakes! Having tried it both with regular cornflakes and frosted cornflakes, it really amps up the flavour! I also cannot stress enough the importance of using good quality brioche or soft challah bread.

Crunchy Vanilla French Toast with Crème Anglaise (Serves 2)

  • 4 slices of high quality brioche, halved
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups (40g) of Kellogg's frosted cornflakes, crushed
  • A small amount of coconut oil or vegetable oil for the pan

For the Creme Anglaise:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300ml half and half (or 150 ml milk and 150 ml double cream)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the Crème Anglaise (It is best to make this first or even in advance):

  1. In a small saucepan, heat up the half and half (or use half double cream and half milk) with some vanilla extract until bubbles start to form around the edges and milk mixture has barely reached a simmer. Turn off the heat. 
  2. Whilst the milk mixture is heating, whisk together the sugar and yolks in a medium bowl until blended. 
  3. Slowly add in half of the milk mixture to the yolk mixture whisking constantly. Once mixed, add in the remaining milk mixture until blended. Do not do this the other way around (i.e. adding the yolk mixture to the hot pan) because the heat from the pan will cook the yolks too quickly and the custard will become lumpy. 
  4. Once the milk and yolks are combined, return the custard to the saucepan and stir continuously over low heat until the custard thickens (170 degrees F/80 degrees C). The custard is ready when the consistency is thicker than heavy cream and if you coat the back of a spoon and run your finger along it, the structure should remain.  Try not to boil the mixture however, as the custard will start to curdle. If it does curdle, pass the heated liquid through a sieve or strainer.
  5. Allow the Crème Anglaise to cool whilst you prepare the french toast. It can be refrigerated for a few days if made in advance (and used on all kinds of desserts!). Please note that refrigerated Crème Anglaise will have a much higher viscosity - you can thin the liquid out again by reheating it for a couple of seconds in the microwave. 

To make the Crunchy French Toast.

  1. Whisk together the 2 eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside. .
  2. In a separate bowl, place the crushed cornflakes. To crush he cornflakes put it in a sealed Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin or your brute strength to crush it! 
  3. Now its time to make the toast! Preheat a large non-stick skillet with a little oil or coconut oil.
  4. Soak the bread in the egg mixture first, turning it over to coat on both sides. Let the excess drip off and then immediately put it in the crushed cornflakes coating both sides thoroughly. Repeat with all pieces of bread. 
  5. Once the bread has been coated with cornflakes, arrange the french toast in the hot pan, pressing down gently. Cook over low/medium heat (turning once to cook both sides) for approximately 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. 
  6. Serve warm with Crème Anglaise and fresh fruit. 

Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken stir-fry is one of those easy go-to dishes that I like to make a LOT. It is incredibly easy to prepare, takes under half an hour (with practice!) and is also a great way to get your daily dose of veggies.

The below recipe can be varied and is a great ‘base recipe’ to start off with . Depending on the veggies you have at hand, you can omit or add any combination of vegetable depending on personal tastes!

Chicken Stir Fry (approx 4 servings)

  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into small pieces (I find that thighs have more flavour)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-3 small heads of broccoli
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium courgette (zucchini for Americans)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil (I prefer coconut oil)
  • Steamed white rice, for serving
  1. Place the diced chicken in a medium bowl and mix in the oyster sauce and soy sauce so that the meat can marinate. Set aside for approximately 10-15 minutes at room temperature whilst you prepare the vegetables.

  2. Prepare the vegetables as follows:
    - Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and cut into small 1/2 inch slices.

    - For the broccoli, cut the florets into 1/2 inch pieces and the stem into slightly smaller 1/4 inch slices.

    - Cut the ends off the courgette and quarter it lengthwise. Slice it across the quarters to create 1/4 inch thick triangular slices.

    - For the carrots, it is very important that your slices are not too thick or it will not have time to cook through when you stir fry them. Aim to keep your slices no more than a 1/4 inch thick. Cut into discs or smaller quarters.

  3. When the chicken has marinated for around 15 minutes, heat a medium sized wok or large frying pan over high heat and add the chicken with the marinade to the pan. Distribute the chicken evenly. You don't need oil at this point because the marinade is a sufficient amount of liquid. Stir fry the chicken until cooked through (usually 5-6 minutes), stirring frequently to prevent the chicken sticking to the pan. Once cooked through, set aside.

  4. Whilst the chicken is cooking, I usually prepare the veggies simultaneously. Heat up the olive oil (or coconut oil) in a large skillet or wok. Using a spatula, add the carrots, bell peppers, garlic, onion and broccoli and sauté the vegetables for about 4 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the sliced courgette last and stir fry for an additional 3 minutes or until soft. Keep an eye on the carrots in particular as these take the longest to cook through.

  5. Add the cooked chicken with marinade to the vegetables and mix well. Add a pinch of salt, to taste. Cook a further 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and has fully covered the vegetables.  Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Healthy Gluten-Free Banana Protein Oat Cookies

Did I really just write ‘Healthy’ cookies? Yep. I think I did! These cookies are packed with protein, vegan, gluten-free (depending on the protein powder of course) and quite frankly, probably the healthiest a cookie is going to get aside from eating no cookie at all that is.

Before I was introduced to these particular cookies, I was making cookies practically every week for quite a few months (at the request of my siblings of course) and not the healthy cookies named after this post, but the type of full-fat gooey chocolate chip cookies that silenced you as you enjoyed them. In fact, I was making that type of cookie so often that my boyfriend felt that an intervention was needed because their deliciousness was starting to have an impact on his waistline!

Being ever the champ, Brian decided to search for healthier alternatives to getting a sugar fix and we adapted the below from a recipe we found on Reddit. They take only 15 minutes to prepare (another 15 mins to bake) and they are delicious! Sometimes we like to stuff them in our faces for breakfast. 


Healthy Banana Protein Oat Cookies (approximately 8 cookies)

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup (90g) of oatmeal/porridge oats
  • 1 scoop of 100% Whey protein powder (We use gluten free chocolate flavour protein) **
  • 1/2 cup (70g) of raisins (or walnuts, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup (23g) shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. In a large bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork and add in the oats, coconut, protein and vanilla. Mix well and then add the raisins (or walnuts) last. The mixture should be sticky!
  3. Scoop the dough into cookie shapes and place on a lightly greased baking tray or grease-proof cookie sheet. Please note that the cookies generally keep their shape once baked and don't really expand so make them the size/shape you would want to eat!
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and enjoy! Store any leftovers in the fridge for later. 

**Protein powder usually comes with a scoop in the container but if you don’t have one it is approx. 30g in weight.