Pre-vegan, my absolute favorite meal for breakfast was something called “Summer in Italy French Toast”, served at a local breakfast joint. They also have a “Winter in Italy,” but I always enjoyed the summer version much more–french toast slathered in mascarpone cheese, seasonal fruit, powdered sugar, and nuts. Amazing. Delicious. Fatty. And obviously not vegan.
This morning I woke up and decided to try a vegan version of this with what I have on hand. I have no idea if there’s any such thing as vegan mascarpone, but I did have a tub of tofutti cream cheese that I still had no clue what I was going to do with. I’ve never looked up a vegan french toast recipe, but I figured I could sub in pancakes instead. I had some walnuts, some blueberries, and some blackberries, and some confectioners sugar (which may not be vegan to you, but as for now, I’m not going to replace all my sugars with unbleached vegan sugars because I’m on a budget–personal choice, I’m using all this stuff til I run out).
So, I attempted to make some pancakes using my makeshift vegan oatmeal waffle recipe–except this time, I didn’t have any soy milk on hand so I used almond milk. Big problem: I don’t have a griddle, so first I attempted a frying pan. Failure. The pancakes were too flat and were sticking (despite lightly greasing the pan). So then my brilliant idea was to use a cookie sheet on the stovetop. I don’t know where I got this idiot idea, but as you can imagine, it didn’t work. I wasn’t going to waste all this batter, and I was getting increasingly hungrier, so I decided to scrap the pancake idea entirely and make waffles like last weekend. I will NOT be revisiting pancakes until I invest in a proper griddle.
You may remember that I lost a battle to my waffle maker last week. The waffles stick to it and always break, but usually they’re salvageable. Not today. The first waffle completely split in half.
Since the bottom half completely split from the top half, my boyfriend had the fabulous idea of playing this like we’d planned it and using this opportunity to stuff the waffle with the vegan cream cheese. Wonderful!
From there we attached the top half and added the blueberries, blackberries, chopped walnuts and powdered sugar.
The batter was a little dry so we had to add syrup, which is totally different from the Summer in Italy French Toast–the mascarpone and fruit were a great syrup substitute. All in all, this was tasty. It would have been better with pecans or sliced almonds, but walnuts were what I had and they weren’t terrible. I would have also liked to puree the fruit to avoid using syrup completely–I think this would be good with strawberries instead of blackberries. Since this is completely unhealthy, I probably won’t experiment with the recipe for a while–maybe by the time the summer fruit rolls in, I’ll have purchased a griddle. 🙂
What creative ways have you used tofutti cream cheese? I still have quite a bit left and I don’t want it to go bad…