This recipe calls for challah bread, which isn’t a conventional baking staple but is convenient to have on hand. Keep thick slices of this braided egg bread in the freezer so you can turn out this snack at any time.
Reprinted from the book Fine Cooking Chocolate. Copyright © 2013 by Taunton Press. Published by Taunton Press.
|2/3 cup granulated sugar||1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract|
|1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed)||4 1-inch thick slices challah bread (stale is fine)|
|1/8 teaspoon baking powder||1/4 cup unsalted butter|
|1/4 teaspoon table salt||Confectioners' sugar, for garnish (optional)|
|1 cup whole milk||Fresh raspberries, strawberries, or sliced bananas, for garnish (optional)|
|4 large eggs|
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well blended and no cocoa lumps remain. Pour in about half of the milk, and whisk until the mixture is a lump-free paste. Add the remaining milk, the eggs, and the vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended.
Arrange the bread in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking dish (or similar vessel) and pour the cocoa mixture over the bread. Turn the bread once to get both sides nicely coated. Poke each bread slice repeatedly with the tines of a fork to encourage the bread to absorb the batter. Let soak, turning every 10 minutes, until the bread is well saturated, 20 to 30 minutes.
Set a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and spread to cover the pan. (If using a skillet, you’ll need to cook the French toast in two batches, using 2 Tbs. butter for each batch.) Using your fingers and a large rubber spatula, carefully transfer the bread slices, one at a time, from the batter to the griddle. Cook until the underside looks browned and lightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. (Reduce the temperature if the slices are browning too fast.) Flip and continue cooking until the slices are slightly puffed in the center and are bouncy to the touch, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the French toast to plates and serve immediately, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and fruit, if you like.
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