Brioche French Toast with Orange & Honey-Roasted Figs, Hazlenuts & Mascarpone

This is one of my favourite flavour combinations and it’s an absolute treat for a lazy Sunday brunch. The sticky, luscious figs and earthy hazelnuts are sublime with the rich and decadent French toast – or as I like to call it, naughty eggy bread! You can enjoy the toast and figs with yoghurt instead of mascarpone if you want to be a little less naughty.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Good Mood Food

Ebury Books


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or foil.

In a bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and half the orange zest and juice. Add a splash of the cream if it needs loosening a little (or for a treat add a splash of Cointreau!). Cover and chill until needed.

Place the figs on the lined baking tray, cut-side up, and dot with a little butter. Drizzle the honey over the figs and squeeze over the remaining orange juice. Scatter over the hazelnuts and roast for 14–16 minutes or until the figs have softened and caramelised and the nuts are nice and golden. Remove from the oven and turn off the heat.

In a large shallow dish, whisk the eggs with the cream. Add the vanilla, remaining orange zest and sugar and whisk again until well combined.

Melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Dip each slice of brioche into the egg mixture, letting it soak up the liquid for a few seconds before turning over to coat the other side. Once the butter is foaming, add the soaked brioche to the pan one or two at a time and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack in the still-warm oven while you cook the remaining slices, adding a little more butter to the pan if needed.

To serve, slice the French toast in half and place 2–3 pieces on each serving plate. Top with 3 halves of the sticky figs, drizzling over any roasting juices, and a little extra drizzle of honey if you like. Add a spoonful of the mascarpone and dust with icing sugar, if using, to serve.



  • 250g mascarpone
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 140ml single cream
  • 6 ripe figs, halved lengthways
  • 2 tsp butter, plus extra for frying
  • 2 tbsp runny honey, plus extra (optional) for drizzling
  • 30g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 heaped tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 4–6 thick slices (about 2.5cm thick) of brioche
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)