Butternut Squash Bread French Toast with Mascarpone Cream, Rosemary Popcorn Streusel, Apricot Maple Syrup and White Wine Poached Pear

Vegan Chopped Post Punk Kitchen style.

The ingredients for this online Vegan Chopped! competition are butternut squash, popcorn, rosemary, and apricot preserves. The course is brunch.

I decided to go with a sweet brunch dish because I know sweet all too well. I really love sweet and savory together, but now that I can’t have any soy products, I am even more limited on what I can do when it comes to vegan cooking. This just means I have to get more creative! I was originally thinking a savory/sweet sandwich, but landed with the sweet side of breakfast. Brunch has the allure of luxury, full of rich flavors and textures. I learned all about brunch when I lived in Chicago, they definitely know how to do brunch in Chicago! I was inspired by a restaurant I used to work where we did our banana bread and made it into french toast as a brunch item, accompanied with a rich ganache and cream sauce.

I decided to create a butternut squash bread french toast with a mascarpone cream (to replace the butter element in traditional french toast), apricot preserve maple syrup(no french toast is complete without syrup), a crunchy element of Popcorn rosemary streusel and a simple white wine poached pear.

To Roast the squash:

I roasted the squash in the oven covered in foil for about an hour and a half. Once it was out of the oven and cooled, I pureed it, and pushed it through a sieve, so it was a smooth consistency.

Butternut squash bread:

Butternut squash pureeCanola oil


g. flax seeds

Oat flour


Baking powder

Baking soda





1 1/2 c3/4 c

2 c

3T plus 9T water(mix)

1 1/8 c

1 1/8 c

1 t

1 t

1 t

1 t

1 t

1 t

Preheat oven 350F. Grease and line loaf pan with parchment. In mixer, mix sugar, flax eggs, oil, and butternut squash. Combine dry ingredients and sift. Then add to mixer, until well blended. Pour into pan, and bake until a toothpick comes clean when inserted.

Poached pears:

White wineWater



bay leaves

sprig rosemary

sprig thyme


cinnamon stick

vanilla beans




juice of 1






1, split


Bring to boil. Add pears, cover, leaving some room for steam, until pears are easily poked with a knife, about 1 hr. Cool, and keep refrigerated.

Popcorn streusel:

Popcorn (popped)rosemary (chopped)


brown sugar

almond flour



canola oil


2 c2 T








Over 325 F. Food process the popcorn, till fine crumb. Add ingredients to stand mixer and paddle till crumpby. Bake on silpat till golden, about 20 mins.

Mascarpone cream:

Almond milkcoconut oil


blanched almonds

lemon juice

guar gum

brown sugar


2/3 c2 1/2 t

2 1/2 c

3/4 c

3 T

1/2 T

3 T

1 t

Soak the cashews and almonds in water for an hour. Drain water. Add all ingredients to food processor and food process for about 5 minutes, until thick. Refrigerate.

French Toast batter:

Almond milkcoconut milk


g. nutmeg

g. cinnamon



nutritional yeast

powdered sugar

3/4 c1c


1/4 t

1/2 t

1 t

1/4 t

1 t

2 T

Mix dries together. Add all ingredients to a wet measuring cup, and immersion blend.

To make the French Toast, It works better if this bread is toasted. It worked out either way, but I preferred the bread to be toasted. Once it is toasted, soak the toasted bread in the milk mixture turning it over, until it is moist. Have a pan on medium heat ready to go. I sprayed the pan first with my misto oil spray for good measure. Place it in the pan, 2 at a time works the best, turning over after about 3-4 mins per side.

This dish came together so well and was amazing. I achieved my goal of combining the right amount of textures and temperatures that satisfy the palette during a course. It was rich, but not boring. I served it with a side of rosemary/sage house potatoes.

Someone was helping put groceries away.

All and all, nice little Sunday brunch!

A big thanks to my amazing sous chef, Bill (Charles) who did all the chopping and oven working, and lots of prepping while I scaled stuff, and avoided the things in a kitchen that could hurt me! MUAW!

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11 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Bread French Toast with Mascarpone Cream, Rosemary Popcorn Streusel, Apricot Maple Syrup and White Wine Poached Pear

  1. Love your blog. What an awesome way to handle your medical experience. So nice to get closer to you. My girls are too!! Admire your strength and outlook. I might actually cook. lol I do cook even thought everyone thinks I don’t. ( A secret). Love you, Aunt Alice

  2. Looks good. The only thing is I can’t tell from the picture if you cut the pound cake perfectly straight… Otherwise, great job! :D

  3. I love the color of that squash loaf, the way it pops with the streusel. Was that punny? Wrap it unsliced and hand it over a few days old. I could hit that hard with some americano. Mid morning and again in the afternoon. Great blog pic up top!

  4. Pingback: And The Chopped/Vegan Champion Is… | VeganMoFo

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