My local go-to place for breakfast or brunch is:
It is a California-based chain with a French theme. The location near me has more of a New Orleans' theme which makes me feel right at home. Mimi's is known for its giant muffins, particularly the carrot raisin muffin, but they have a whole roster of delicious breakfast dishes.
My favorite item on the breakfast menu is called Mixed Berry Pain Perdu. This is how they describe it:
It is delicious, and I practically lick my plate clean.
French toast stuffed with cream cheese and orange marmalade and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and strawberry puree.
Mimi's always has a line of customers on Sunday morning and I didn't feel like waiting in the 100+ degree heat.
So I decided to try my hand at creating this signature dish at home. For the filling, I used half the filling recipe that I used in my fruit tart but added a little marmalade to ramp up the orange flavor. My kids said it was very close to Mimi's--even better!--so I guess I can officially call this a copycat recipe.
Mixed Berry Pain Perdu
(click here to print)
(original recipe from Cooks.com)
1/2 cup sugar (next time I'll probably use a little less, like 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups blueberries
Combine sugar and cornstarch in 4 cup or larger pyrex measuring cup. Add water, syrup, and lemon juice. Stir in blueberries. Microwave on high power 4 1/2 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Orange Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and a few drops of orange oil - you could use 1/2 tsp. orange zest, too)
1/2 Tbsp. orange marmalade
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Using 8 pieces of cinnamon raisin bread, make 4 sandwiches with the filling in between. Lightly butter the outside of the bread (use real butter for best flavor).
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
a little freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/8 tsp.)
Combine all ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Heat a nonstick frying pan or griddle to medium high heat. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, coating evenly. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
Cut the french toast sandwiches into triangles and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with homemade blueberry syrup and garnish with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.