Mix this brightly flavored Raspberry Syrup into your favorite smoothie recipe for a burst of refreshing fruit flavor.  Delicious served traditionally with pancakes or French toast, Raspberry Syrup is also great drizzled on top of ice cream or a biscuit topped with fresh berries and whipped cream.
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Baked French Toast with Berries and Mascarpone

(Serves 4 - 6)
Baked French Toast with Berries and Mascarpone

6 (1-inch thick) slices of brioche, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces mascarpone
1-1/2 cups berries (combination or raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup maple syrup

Raspberry Sauce:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon butter


Coat the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Spread half of the bread cubes on the bottom of the dish.  Place dollops of the mascarpone over the bread.  Scatter the berries over the mascarpone and then top with the remaining bread cubes.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half and maple syrup.
Pour the mixture over the bread cubes.  With a large spoon or your hands, press the bread down so that all the pieces are soaked in the liquid mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the French toast is slightly puffed up and the top is lightly browned. 

To make the raspberry sauce:
In a small saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar and cornstarch.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the raspberries, and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the berries start to soften,  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter

Serve the warm French toast topped with some of the raspberry sauce or maple syrup.
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This French toast can be made with just one type of berry or a combination of a few. We recommend using brioche bread but any dense bread can be substituted.  The dish does need to be assembled the day before, so that it can sit overnight for the bread to fully absorb the egg mixture.  That makes it a great dish to serve to overnight guests when you don't want to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing breakfast.  You can also serve the French toast without the raspberry sauce and simply top it with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or maple syrup.
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