Bostock. The love child of French Toast and Almond Croissants – meaning you get the best of both worlds: a custardy slice of bread, a rich frangipane topping underneath crunchy slivered almonds and a dusting of icing sugar. It also happens to be one my favourite things to make with leftover brioche or pain de mie.
This version of a Bostock is a riff on a bakewell tart recipe that is still in my draft recipes folder. And maybe that draft recipe will stay there and I will just end up continuing to make these Rosy Bostocks instead, that would not be a bad outcome.
Christmassy this recipe is not. But it makes for a rich breakfast so feels appropriate for this season of celebrations. And it is easy and quick to prepare. So if you are wondering what to bring to a potluck brunch over the next few weeks or what to serve for breakfast on Christmas Day and you want something a little special but also something that doesn’t require you to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen, worrying whether your kitchen is too cold for the yeast to do its magic, or whether your meringue has the right consistency or not, stop right there and make these Bostocks instead. From start to finish they will take you maximum 1 hour, probably less (and the longest bit is waiting for the oven to pre-heat).Here is how these Rosy Bostocks are made: You start off with stale white bread. Pain de mie or Brioche if you have some to hand. Hokkaido style milk bread would work equally well. To rehydrate the bread and add sweetness, each slice gets doused liberally in sugar syrup. Then, a mix of rose petal jelly and fresh raspberries is spread on each slice, this gets covered with a blanket of cardamom frangipane which is itself topped by a generous sprinkle of flaked almonds. A quick bake in a hot oven, a dusting of icing sugar, eh voilà. Simples.
The trick to stop you from falling into a sugar coma is that the sweet rose petal jam gets cut with frozen (or fresh) raspberries – their flavour works beautifully alongside the jam but their natural tartness also helps tame the sweetness of the sugar syrup drenched bread, the jam, the sweet frangipane and the dusting of icing sugar. Also, raspberries, rose and cardamom are definitely one of those brilliant flavour combinations that just work.
Notes: These are endlessly adaptable – swap the jam for whichever one you have at home or leave out completely. You could also use a different nut for the frangipane – walnuts would be lovely with the cardamom too, and maybe with a layer of blueberry jam. Or pine nuts, anise seed and fresh figs?
Makes 8 Bostocks
1 pain de mie, ends cut off and cut into 8 thick slices (if not already stale, leave to dry out overnight)
For the sugar syrup: 50g sugar, 50ml water
For the frangipane
100g ground almonds
100g soft butter
Pinch of salt
Seeds of four cardamom pods, finely ground
100g rose petal jam
100g frozen or fresh raspberries, chopped roughly
8 tbsp slivered almonds
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan bring the sugar and water to a boil just long enough for the sugar to dissolve completely. Set aside.
For the frangipane add the ground almonds, butter, sugar, salt and cardamom to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the eggs and pulse until combined.
Place four slices of the bread on each baking sheet. Liberally brush each slice with the sugar syrup.
Mix the rose petal jam with the fresh raspberries and place a tablespoon of the mixture in the middle of each slice of bread. Cover with a layer of frangipane and scatter about 1 tbsp of slivered almonds over each slice.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the frangipane is nicely puffed up and golden brown. Dust generously with icing sugar and serve immediately.