Neuf-awho? Neuf-awhat? Neufchatel Cheese & Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch, Ingredient Knowledge | 0 comments

Neuf-awho? Neuf-awhat? Neufchatel Cheese & Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

 Neufchatel cheese reminds me of my given name.  The name I suffered through all the way up until 8th grade when I finally decided to drop my Chinese first name no one could pronounce (and one I won’t mention here 😉 to go by my middle name Elizabeth.  Life suddenly became easier and those that avoided me for fear of pronouncing my name wrong suddenly seemed so relaxed when saying hi. That’s kind of the way I feel about Neufchatel Cheese. Even though I see it at the store every time I reach for the Cream Cheese, I always avoided it having no idea how to pronounce it and having no idea what it was. I probably still don’t know how to pronounce it but after getting to know it a little better it’s really just as simple as its sister Cream Cheese.

Stuffed French Toast

Both traditional Cream Cheese and Neufchatel Cheese have a slightly tangy taste and creamy texture perfect for spreading and can basically be used interchangeably in dips, sauces & spreads.  If substituting Neufchatel in baking, the finished product will loose a little of the richness and the texture will be affected from a lesser amount of fat.  The biggest difference between the two is that Neufchatel as advertised 🙂 is 33% less fat than cream cheese because it is made exclusively with milk whereas cream cheese is made with milk & cream.  There is a slightly richer taste with cream cheese but honestly in a blind taste test with the two paired side by side, I could barely tell the difference. So next time you’re at the grocery store, go ahead and grab the red headed step sister and try it in your most favorite cream cheese dish!

Stuffed French Toast

I decided to try it in a stuffed french toast which turned out delicious! Let’s face it, once you add the sugar to the mixture with strawberries you’ll never miss the slightly richer taste of the cream cheese.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients

  • 4 thick slices Challah Bread about 2

Optional

  • 1/2 cup Toasted Shredded Coconut
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar (For Dusting)
  • Fresh Fruit of Choice (For Farnish)

Batter

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Filling

  • 8oz Neufchatel Cheese Softened
  • 1 cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • Zest of one lemon

Directions

Step 1
In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the frozen strawberries with lemon juice & sugar. Allow the strawberries to cook down breaking with a fork to remove any large chunks. . Add the lemon zest once and cook down to a sauce like consistency. About 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2
With a small knife, cut a slit in the crust side of the bread for the filling to be stuffed in to.

Combine the cooled strawberry sauce with the neufchatel cheese or cream cheese and put the mixture in a pastry bag to easily fill the challah bread.
Step 3
For the batter, combine the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla in a shallow bowl or pan. Something easy to soak the bread in after it is stuffed.
Step 4
Fill each challah bread with the strawberry cheese mixture and dredge in the egg mixture on each side. You might want to let the bread sit in the egg mixture for a minute to allow the bread to soak up the deliciousness.

Heat a large skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook each slice on each side for about 4-5 minutes and when the bread is golden brown. Work in batches. Dredge the next slice when the first slice is completed and put in the skillet to cook.
Step 5
Top with powdered sugar, fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or bananas and toasted coconut. for garnish. Serve warm with maple syrup or agave.

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