This is my traditional Christmas breakfast. It is quick to make but visually luscious and, of course, delicious! Serve with a glass of Champagne or eggnog.

Serves 4–6

Cooking time: 20–40 minutes


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup ‘top of milk bucket’ cream or pure cream
  • 1 loaf day-old brioche, thickly sliced
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • plain (unsweetened) natural yoghurt, to serve
  • pure maple syrup, to serve
  • mixed berry compote
  • 250g punnet strawberries, hulled, halved lengthways
  • 125g punnet blueberries
  • 125g punnet raspberries
  • ½ orange
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Armagnac or brandy (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar mixture
  • ¼ cup rose geranium leaves* or ¼ cup rose geranium leaves* or basil leaves (optional)

To make compote

To make mixed berry compote, place strawberries, blueberries
and raspberries in a bowl. Squeeze over juice of orange. Add balsamic vinegar and Armagnac or brandy, and sprinkle with icing sugar. Add rose geranium or basil leaves and gently stir to combine. Set aside to develop flavours until ready to serve.

Prepare brioche

Using a fork, whisk eggs, egg yolk and cream in a jug until well combined. Pour egg mixture into a shallow dish. Place 2–3 slices of brioche in egg mixture and set aside for 10 minutes to soak. Turn and soak for a further 10 minutes so egg mixture soaks right through brioche. (You can speed up process by gently pushing down on brioche with a fork, taking care not to break it.) Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining brioche and egg mixture.

Cook and keep warm

Preheat oven to 70°C. Place a wire cooling rack on a baking tray. Heat 30g of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat until bubbling. Add 2 slices of egg-soaked brioche. Grate a little nutmeg over brioche. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook brioche for a further 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer French toast to wire rack on tray. Place tray in oven to keep French toast warm and crisp. Repeat with remaining brioche and nutmeg, adding more butter to frying pan as required.

Garnish and serve

Place 1–2 slices of French toast on each serving plate and top with a spoonful of mixed berry compote. Top with a dollop of yoghurt, then drizzle with maple syrup.

*An evergreen perennial, the rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) has rose-scented leaves and are available at garden centres. Ensure rose geraniums have not been treated with sprays.