Considering the amount of breakfast recipes I’ve added to this blog, I think we can safely say
I’m a breakfastaholic that I’m a big breakfast fan! There’s no wonder then that the first recipe I would come up with for Valentine’s Day would be for some breakfast item.
But, in my own defense, these are not your average pieces of eggy bread. I mean, wouldn’t you love to wake up on Valentine’s Day and be served this breakfast in bed? I have made these French toast parfaits before and they were a big hit with my family. They’re my taste testers, food critics, recipe analysts..whatever you call them, they are extremely picky and brutally honest, two features which are essential to judge food properly:)
Then again, how could you go wrong with layers of:
coconut infused French toast chunks
velvety coconut whipped cream
sweet, juicy strawberry slices
lightly toasted coconut shavings
This makes the perfect breakfast to serve your loved ones on a special occasion, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or just because. Do we really need a special reason to eat a yummy breakfast? I think not. Don’t think that this is too difficult to make either. It’s pretty much the same as making regular French toast, except you layer the ingredients in a pretty dish instead of piling it on a plate. See, it’s not difficult at all. In fact, this may actually save you space in your dish washer, essentially making it easier than regular French toast;)
First things first. Mix up the eggs, coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Dip your bread into the egg mixture, letting it “hang out” several seconds on each side so that it can soak in all of that yummy coconuttyness. Pan-fry each slice on both sides, until lightly browned.
If you used thick bread, place each cooked slice on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 5 minutes or so, just to make sure the egg is thoroughly cooked. Remove and let cool.
Cut the bread into bite-sized pieces. You can even use festive cutters to cut out shapes to decorate the top! I’m using a heart cutter for Valentine’s Day, but it really works anytime since I just loooove my family so much!
Place the coconut in a dry pan and toast over medium heat, until lightly browned. Toasted coconut is so much more flavorful than regular coconut. It’s addictive too. Try not to eat it all while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Remember, we need it for the parfaits!
This is my lazy way to make heart-shaped strawberries. I’ve seen some tutorials where people actually use a heart shaped cutter to cut a perfect heart out of each slice. Who has time for that?! This takes the same amount of time as regularly slicing strawberries, just cut the tops out in a “V” shape instead of flat across, then slice as usual.
For the coconut whipped cream, I suggest using a cold bowl and it is absolutely necessary that you use canned coconut milk that has been refrigerated overnight. I used So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk and although it doesn’t separate when refrigerated, it still whipped up some nice, soft peak whipped cream. So yummy.
Remember, you must use full fat coconut milk that you buy in a can (or carton, which is what mine came in.) You can’t use the coconut milk near the almond, soy, and regular milk in the refrigerated section. I also don’t recommend buying “lite” versions as they tend to not whip up as well. If you’re not dairy-free, feel free to replace this coconut cream with regular whipped cream.
After you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go, it’s time to assemble the parfaits. I like to start with a layer of French toast pieces.
I top that with coconut cream, strawberry slices, and toasted coconut. Repeat the layer and finish with a dollop of whipped cream, more coconut pieces, a few strawberries, and if you have any, the decorative French toast cut-outs.
We like to drizzle just a bit of pure maple syrup on our parfaits, but it’s not necessary. It’s delicious as is, especially with the lightly sweetened coconut whipped cream and sweet berries. I hope you try this recipe soon! If you do, please comment below and let me know how you liked them! Happy French toasting, friends!
- 8 big slices of bread*
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup coconut milk (can substitute another milk, if needed)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, optional
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- butter or coconut oil for pan
- 1 cup sliced strawberries or another fruit of choice
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- maple syrup to drizzle on top, optional
- 1-2 cans of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight**
- ½–1 tablespoon honey or sweetener of choice, per can
- (Before beginning, place a mixing bowl in the fridge or freezer so that it'll be nice and chilled later when we whip the coconut milk.)
- *Use any bread you like: GF sandwich bread, French bread, challah, brioche, Hawaiian..really, any will do. In a large dish, mix together eggs, coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Dip bread into the mixture, leaving for several seconds per side, to allow the bread to soak in the milk. The amount may vary based upon the size of your bread. I keep usually keep going until I run out of egg batter (I hate waste!) You can always refrigerate or freeze extras for later.
- In a large skillet, melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add egg battered bread slices to the pan and cook a few minutes per side, until lightly browned. If you are using thick pieces of bread, place bread slices on a large baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 5-6 minutes, to make sure egg is thoroughly cooked on all sides. Remove French toast from oven and let cool. Cut bread pieces into bite sized chunks. You can even use a small metal cutter to cut out a few shapes for decoration. Set aside for later.
- In a dry pan, place 1 cup of shredded or shaved coconut pieces. Over medium heat, toast coconut until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Shake the pan often to keep the coconut moving so that it doesn't burn. Remove from heat and transfer coconut to a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a picture above, I show how I cut the strawberry tops out in a V shape, which gives them a pretty heart shape. Slice strawberries and reserve for when you assemble the parfaits.
- Remove your mixing bowl and coconut milk from the fridge. If using a can, your coconut milk should have separated. It doesn't always, it depends on the brand of milk you bought and even the batch of milk you received. If it has separated, the hard, coconut milk fat from the water, then you got a good can of milk! You'll want to remember the brand for next time. Drain the clear liquid and reserve for another use (think tropical smoothies!) Take the milk fat and transfer to the cold bowl. Use a whisk attachment, if you have one, and beat the cream on high speed, along with the sweetener, for a few minutes, until thick and fluffy. The brand I got, So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk, comes in a paper carton and doesn't separate. It is still rather thick and creamy and makes great soft peak whipped cream. I stated 1-2 cans and it will depend on how much thick cream you get from one can. Having an extra can in the fridge is great, just in case you need more.
- You can use any dish you'd like. Clear glass dishes or wine glasses work nicely so that you can see the layers, but it's not necessary. Begin by adding a layer of French toast pieces, then a couple of spoonfuls of coconut whipped cream, strawberry slices (around the sides of dish), and toasted coconut. You can drizzle a little maple syrup on each layer, if you'd like, or serve along side the parfait. Repeat the layers and finish with a spoonful of whipped cream, strawberry hearts, and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. The number of servings depends on the size of the dishes you use. Serves 3-4 if small to medium sized dishes are used.