French Toast with Earl Grey Syrup

For this French toast, brioche slices are soaked in a combination of eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. They’re then griddled to perfect. On top? An easy syrup made from Earl Grey tea, sugar, and water. Simple elegance.

Three slices of French toast drizzled with Earl Grey syrup on a white plate.

When I created this French toast recipe with Earl Grey syrup, I had been trying to come up with an interesting and unique brunch condiment. I simply steeped Earl Grey bags in a one-to-one sugar and water solution, and the end result tasted fantastic paired with French toast. This easy syrup can be made ahead and rewarmed in a small saucepan or in the microwave when ready to serve. Any leftover syrup can be used to sweeten hot tea or stored in the refrigerator for later use. Originally published May 23, 2015.Geoffrey Zakarian

LC Earl Grey Syrup Note

We know what you’re thinking. And we bet it goes something like, “I better not try the Earl Grey syrup because my kids may turn up their nose at it.” Wanna know what we think? Yes, they may sniff at it and deign not to try it. Yes, you could save yourself the less than 5 minutes of effort it takes to make the Earl Grey syrup and simply make the French toast recipe on its own. And yes, you’d be missing out on a true taste sensation if you sacrificed this small pleasure for yourselft. So please, for your own sake, relinquish yourself to the aroma of bergamot and just make the syrup already. You deserve it. Besides, any leftover Earl Grey syrup is lovely with oatmeal, tea, pancakes…we could go on. Shall we? Or are you convinced?

French Toast with Earl Grey Syrup

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

  • For the Earl Grey syrup
  • For the French toast

Directions

Make the Earl Grey syrup

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it’s dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat, add the Earl Grey bags, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.

Squeeze the bags to get all that good Earl Greyness out of the grounds and then toss the bags in the compost or the trash. Bring the sweetened tea mixture to a simmer and cook until syrupy (you want it to be about the thickness of real maple syrup), 8 to 15 minutes. You should have about 3/4 cup. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Make the French toast

Preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C). Have a baking sheet or platter ready.

In a large bowl or baking dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Submerge 4 slices bread in the egg mixture and let soak, turning to make sure the slices are evenly soated but not falling apart saturated, for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Working in batches, transfer 1 to 2 slices of French toast to the skillet after letting the excess egg mixture drip back into the bowl. Cook until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the French toast to the baking sheet or platter and slide it in the oven to keep warm while you repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and ingredients.

Serve the French toast warm with additional butter, if desired, and a generous drizzle of warm Earl Grey syrup.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This French toast recipe with Earl Grey syrup might be a tough sell to maple syrup purists, but heck, let me give it a go. Twinings makes a lovely and readily available Earl Grey tea, which is what I used. I didn't think the tea would steep well in the simple syrup, but it did. Simmering until it had reduced to a syrup took longer than expected—about 15 minutes to achieve grade A maple consistency. The syrup yield was just shy of 3/4 cup. Next I moved on to the finest of all French toast vehicles, the beloved challah. Cut it thick and don't be shy, friends. I used a loaf pan to mix up the egg mixture. This makes it easier to fully dunk the slices. And yes, 30 seconds, flipping the slice back and forth, was enough to get them saturated but not fall-apart wet. I griddled these babies up at about 3 to 4 minutes per side and kept them warm in a low oven. The syrup was also warm when served, which was total heaven. Serves 4, but I foresee a problem not having an extra piece to fight over.

I made these for both my daughter and my husband. They both loved them, though my husband commented that the French toast itself could be a tad less sweet. (I used 2 tablespoons sugar in the French toast.) The Earl Grey syrup was simply amazing in terms of the taste. I didn't think the tea would work as well as it did. It was not overwhelming but still noticeable and unique. I used Victorian Earl Grey from Celestial Seasonings. In terms of the syrup, it reduced to exactly 3/4 cup, and I still have a bit more left over after using it on 8 slices French bread. On a side note, the first day I only did 4 slices and kept the egg mixture in the fridge overnight and did the other 4 the day after, and they were just as perfect as on the first day. So if you do not have much time in the morning, you can easily prepare it the night before, and all you'll need to do is fry them in the morning.

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