3/4cupalmond milk or other nondairy milk(use soy, coconut, or oat milk if nut-free)
1cuplite coconut milk
1/4cupchickpea flour(aka garbanzo bean flour)
1/4cuppure maple syrup
1 1/2teaspoonsground cinnamon
1/2teaspoonfreshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
1/2teaspoonaluminum-free baking powder
2teaspoonsarrowroot powder(or cornstarch)
For serving (optional)
Raspberry-Cranberry Sauce(recipe below)
Vegan whipped cream
Pure maple syrup
1tablespoonfreshly squeezed orange juice
3tablespoonspure maple syrup
If you are using stale bread, skip this step. If you are using freshly baked bread, preheat the oven to 300°F (~150°C) and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes (you should end up with 6-7 cups). Arrange the bread cubes on top of a large sheet pan in a single layer. Bake the bread for 15 minutes to dry it out.
Grease a 3-quart rectangular casserole dish with oil of choice.
Make the gingerbread custard: In a blender, combine the almond milk, lite coconut milk, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely smooth and no lumps remain.
Place the dried out bread pieces in a large bowl and pour the gingerbread custard over the bread mixture, tossing to coat the bread cubes thoroughly. Transfer the soaked bread to the greased casserole dish, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Before baking, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). .
Uncover the dish and bake for 20 minutes. Then cover the pan with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent premature browning and bake for another 30-40 minutes. For a French toast that is still soft on the inside, bake for the additional 30 minutes (total of 50 minutes); for a French toast that is completely baked through, bake for the additional 40 minutes (total of 60 minutes).
While the French toast is baking, make the Raspberry-Cranberry Sauce. In a small saucepan, add the raspberries, cranberries, orange zest, water, orange juice, and maple syrup over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix together the arrowroot and cold water and stir to form a slurry. When the raspberries starts to lightly bubble, add the arrowroot slurry and stir to combine. Heat for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened, similar to a runny jam.
Remove the French toast from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with the pomegranate seeds and serve with the Raspberry-Cranberry Sauce and vegan whipped cream. For instructions on how to reheat leftovers, see the notes above in the blog post.
*I don’t recommend using blackstrap molasses, as it is quite bitter. But if that’s all you have, be sure to taste the custard before pouring it over the bread – you might need to add more maple syrup.