Thursday, January 22, 2009
Chocolate French Toast
When our children were small, Saturday was a special day. It began with pancakes made by my tiny chefs who were happily learning applied mathematics. Pancakes were actually their second creation. The first was a unique cookie called a "Mush Me." The cookie was made with 1 cup flour, 1 stick soft butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. The kids - with immaculately clean hands, of course - mushed the cookies until everything was mixed. They dropped them - literally - on cookie sheets and baked them in a 350 degree oven till they were done. I can't be more specific about the time. Sometimes we had one huge cookie other times a hundred small ones. The pancakes were more sophisticated and involved learning the difference between full and partial measures. They also involved sifting and mixing with a spoon and sometimes, if we were really lucky, there was batter left for the griddle. It was a great time for us all. Today's French toast is a bit more sophisticated. It's a festive dish, perfect for a brunch or holiday breakfast. I'm not sure I'd let the kids do this one but it really is simple to make.
Chocolate French Toast
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 (1-inch thick) slices challah or brioche
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Confectioners' sugar for garnish
1) Combine granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; whisk until blended. Pour in half the milk and whisk until mixture is completely lump free. Whisk in remaining milk, eggs and vanilla.
2) Arrange the bread in a 9 x 13-inch pan and pour cocoa mixture over it. Turn the bread to coat both sides. Poke the slices with a fork at frequent intervals. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so.
3) Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat (I used an electric frying pan). Add butter and spread to cover pan. Carefully add bread to pan. Cook until underside is lightly crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Watch this step carefully as the bread can burn quickly. Flip until slices are slightly puffed, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm. Yield: 4 servings.
Adapted from a recipe by Abigail Johnson Dodge
I'm sending this recipe to Susan at Wild Yeast for her weekly Yeast Spotting event.