This recipe started because I had a left over packages of Hawaiian Rolls, which are a fluffy dinner roll with a sweet flavor. I was thinking definitely French Toast, but did I really want to make twenty-four miniature pieces of French Toast? Not really. I’m a big fan of overnight French Toast, but I was standing in the grocery store thinking of what to do for breakfast. I only had a few hours.
I grabbed some coconut, coconut milk, a can of pineapple chunks, along with one more ingredient. Another package of Hawaiian Rolls. I was afraid only one package wouldn’t be enough, and two packages turned out to be the perfect amount.
The first thing I did was grab my 9 X 13 inch pan and lined it with aluminum foil. I cut each dinner roll into eight cubes, then tossed them into the pan. I wanted toasted coconut inside the Coconut French Toast Bake, so I preheated my oven, then spread about a quarter cup of coconut out on the pan. Toasting coconut only takes five minutes, but you need to keep a close eye on the it because it can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in less than a minute.
I poured the egg mixture over the Hawaiian Roll cubes then covered it with aluminum foil, pressing down the bread cubes. I placed the pan in the refrigerator for three hours.
I baked the Coconut French Toast Bake for thirty five minutes, until the top was starting to brown. I wanted to let it cool off before I served it, so it was a perfect time to toast more coconut to serve with the French toast. By the time the coconut was done I was ready to cut the Coconut French Toast Bake.
Not only does my 9 X 13 inch pan stay clean from lining it with aluminum foil, but I can pull the entire French toast bake from the pan by the foil making it so much easier to cut into squares. I garnished the French Toast with some pineapple chunks, more toasted coconut and a little syrup.
The Flavor Bible is a book I have in my kitchen that I reference all the time. Here is how the book works; there’s a listing of just about any ingredient that you could possibly cook with along with what other foods and spices would taste good with that particular food. Now say for instance you’ve got this ingredient that you’ve never tasted before. This book will tell you the flavor, if it’s sweet, salty or bitter. If it’s a fruit or vegetable you can find out the seasonal peaks. Then it will list all the other ingredients and spices that taste really good with this ingredient, and ingredients to avoid. There are even techniques on how to cook the ingredient.
This book has really allowed me to get creative in the kitchen and play with different flavors and spices. If I’ve got a bunch of apples, but I want to do more than just eat them, I can look up apples and see they pair very well with cinnamon, cream and ice cream, allspice, nutmeg, raisins, butter, and both white and brown sugar. That sounds really good. I can also see that apples can be baked, caramelized, deep fried, or grilled. Now I’ve really got some ideas for the apples.
But maybe I wanted to make something savory with the apples, maybe for a nice dinner. I can see that apples go together with beef, chicken, duck, pork, onions, along with spices like basil, cumin and parsley. There are way more options than I listed here. Under apples I counted a little over one-hundred ingredients.
I think this book is a must have in your kitchen and I highly recommend it.
Inspired and adapted from Stephanie Russell’s French toast recipe via King’s Hawaiian