Nadia Duriavig: Foodie Unplugged


Sesame Crusted French Toast with Mascarpone Cream & Berries

crunchy sesame seeds + sweetness of the bread = decadence

Sesame Crusted French Toast with Mascarpone Cream & Berries

This recipe is absolutely as scrumptious as it looks. The light bulb went off one day while I was having a moment enjoying those famous and oh so special Montreal style bagels.  My favorite by far is sesame. There is something about a well-toasted sesame seed Montreal style bagel with cream cheese that is a really perfect flavor combination. Smoky roasted crunchy seeds and creamy light cheesy topping, sometimes with a hit of sweet jam too. I wondered where I might take that flavor inspiration.

It hit me a little bit later. I whipped up a batch of French toast and a star was born — it absolutely rocks! This recipe has all the traditional goodness of a typical French toast recipe with a really easy upgrade of gourmet crunch, smokiness and creamy delicious cheesy sweetness. The local organic syrup and sour berries take it over the top. I guarantee you will not be serving this just for breakfast anymore.

Try it and let me know what you think.


4 thick cut slices of brioche bread
1 organic egg
2 tbsps milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsps sesame seeds
3 tbsps good quality mascarpone cheese
1/2 pint mixed berries
Good quality maple syrup


  Whisk together egg, milk, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl.

Feel free to substitute water for milk.  Note that all the cinnamon will float over the top and likely get soaked up by the first two pieces of toast.  I like to re-sprinkle my cinnamon into the egg mixture every 2 or so pieces of bread.

  Dip both sides of bread into mixture until soaked through, 30-45 seconds each side.

I used fresh bread here, but stale works well too.  I like my French toast light, crispy and bready as opposed to the more conventional soaked and eggy style.  It is totally your preference but if you want a more traditional texture then let your bread soak for a much longer period, for at least 15 mins, up to overnight.

  Sprinkle each side generously with sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are a great source of omega 6 fatty acids, proteins, linoleic oils and anti oxidants. So it is well worth it to seek out an organic, non bleached brand.  You can find bulk organic for around the same price as regular and know that you are getting excellent health benefits from these little guys.

  Rest for 2 minutes to let soak while your pan is heating.  Heat to medium.

Sesame coated toast takes quite a bit longer to cook than regular.  Also, you need to cook it on a medium heat setting so as not to burn the seeds, but lightly toast them to a yummy crunch.

  Toast each side in a frying pan until sesame seeds are lightly browned and toasted, about 4 minutes per side. 

Make sure to keep heat to medium so as not to burn the seeds.  You may get a bit of smoking due to the oils in the seeds but this is normal.  Take care not to burn — the sesame seeds become bitter.  If you are concerned, turn the heat down.

  To make the mascarpone cream, take ½ cup mascarpone cream and let reach room temperature.  Whisk in maple syrup to taste, usually about 1 ½ tbsps.

Mascarpone cheese freezes well, so I always put leftovers aside instead of leaving them in the fridge.  A couple of scoops from the freezer work perfectly in this recipe, instead of opening a whole container.  In a pinch, feel free to use Philadelphia cream cheese, it works pretty well too.

  Assemble your dish, top with maple syrup,  sprinkle with berries and be prepared to make some more!

Maple syrup is one of the few foods available to us made purely from plant sap so is one of those items worth sourcing from a good quality local producer.  Maple syrup come in different grades, the darker the lower as people generally look for a lighter shade.  I prefer the darkest I can find, settling at the bottom of the tree with the most nutritional compounds and the most taste.  Next time you have the choice, try some of the darker stuff, so much better for you!

Serves 2

Looking for another great recipe? Check out my Curry Spiced Beef, Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup