Makes 8 to 12 servings

In French, French toast is pain perdu, or "lost bread," because it's made from stale bread.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cut bread into 24 (3/4-inch-thick) diagonal slices.

Step 2

Whisk together eggs and next 5 ingredients until well blended.

Step 3

Place bread slices in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; pour egg mixture evenly over slices. Let stand 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Step 4

Remove bread slices from egg mixture, letting excess drip off. Cook bread slices, in batches, in a lightly greased nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until golden.

Step 5

Place bread slices on baking sheets; keep warm in a 200° oven.

Step 6

Cook Champagne in a large saucepan over high heat until reduced by half. Gradually stir in syrup; cook over low heat until blended and warm.

Step 7

Arrange bread slices on serving plates; top with raspberries, blueberries and, if desired, cream cheese. Drizzle evenly with syrup mixture. Garnish, if desired.

Commander's Palace, New Orleans, Louisiana

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