For the strawberry syrup:
200g strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped
200g caster sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the French toast:
½ tsp sugar
12 slices of thick-cut batch bread
200g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced
Butter, for frying
50g flaked almonds
1. Combine all of the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the strawberries are soft and the syrup is thick.
2. Whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar in a shallow bowl.
3. Spread half of the bread slices with the cream cheese, then top with the sliced strawberries. Top with the remaining slices of bread and press around the edges to seal.
4. Heat some butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and soak for 1-2 minutes per side. Sprinkle some flaked almonds over one side of each sandwich.
5. Cook the sandwiches in the pan, almond-side down, for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle the top of the sandwich with almonds before flipping.
6. Slice on a diagonal and serve with whipped cream, the strawberry syrup and icing sugar.