The Unexpected Spice That Will Change Your French Toast Forever

French toast is one of the ultimate comfort foods for breakfast. There's something about the creamy egg mixture and a splash of vanilla extract that just sends the flavor through the roof. Not to mention, the sweetness from the toppings, like maple syrup or fresh fruit, adds to the dish. While it is nearly impossible to go wrong with a classic French toast recipe, adding one unexpected spice can really bolster an already perfect meal.

If there is one ingredient you should add to your French toast recipe to improve upon it, it has to be five-spice. Five-spice is an incredibly cozy spice that warms you from within with a bit of a punch — that's thanks to a kick from the mild peppercorns involved. The blend of spices packs a ton of flavor and really amps up the complexity of the dish too without adding a lot of other ingredients (via Food 52).

How to use five-spice in French toast

If you are not familiar with five-spice, it is commonly used in Chinese and Taiwanese cooking. While the spice is often a blend of five different spices, it doesn't always include the five traditional ones. Typically, five-spice includes cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds, and peppercorns so it has a lovely warm taste and cozy feel when added to many different dishes. However, some five-spice blends use nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom in addition to some of the other more traditional spices.

To make tasty French toast with five-spice, the eggs and milk should be whisked together in a bowl first. Then, simply add 2 teaspoons of the blended powder to the wet mixture.  Give the wet ingredients and the spice blend another good whisk before cooking to ensure there are no clumps or pockets of five-spice before dredging the slices of bread.

Meanwhile, choosing a five-spice blend to use is all about your personal taste. If you prefer one with ginger or nutmeg instead of the more typical five spices, then by all means, go for it! You can always buy a pre-made five-spice blend from your local grocery store, but it is also quite easy to mix it up yourself.