Place the oranges into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until soft. Drain and reserve 150 ml of the cooking water. Cut the oranges into quarters and remove the flesh with a sharp knife. Place the flesh into a blender with the reserved cooking liquid and blend until smooth. Meanwhile shred the skin of the oranges and set aside.
Place the blended pulp into a medium saucepan and pour in the sugar, add the star anise and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer over a moderate heat. Turn down to a low heat and add the orange peel. Simmer for 45 minutes. Place a teaspoon of the marmalade onto a saucer and place next to an open window or in the fridge. The marmalade should form a skin within three to four minutes, pour into sterilized jars and allow too cool. Place the lids on the jars and refrigerate for up to two months.
Note – If the marmalade does not form a skin when left in cool air then cook for another 10 minutes over a low heat and repeat the test to check it will set.
Pre heat the oven to 120°C
Soften the butter and whisk until light and fluffy, whisk in half the marmalade and set aside.
With the remaining marmalade add a little boiling water to loosen into a syrupy consistency for the sauce for the French toast.
Slice the loaf into 8 thick slices and reserve aside.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the milk, sugar and cinnamon. Soak the bread slices in the egg mix well until saturated. Allow to stand for a few minutes.
Heat a little oil in a good non stick pan over a medium heat for 3 minutes and lay the slices of soaked bread into the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes on each side lowering the heat if required until golden brown. Remove onto paper towel and reserve in the warm oven. Repeat for the remaining slices.
Serve 2 slices per person, spoon a little of the orange sauce over and around the French toast and dollop a little of the marmalade butter on top, sprinkle with a few almonds.
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