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This is a sophisticated take on chocolate French toast, made from hearty sourdough bread and piled with fresh berries and chopped stone fruit.
A hearty, seeded sourdough makes for a terrific, unusual French toast. Or use regular sourdough.
Chocolate French toast
Hello again from beautiful western Canada. We’ve just arrived in Vancouver after an hourlong flight from Calgary and are sitting at a Starbucks waiting for our airbnb to be ready across the street. I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve occupied a whole corner of an urban Starbucks with too many bags, hogging a power outlet with my phone charger and laptop, because hoo-boy do I feel like I’m back in law school again studying and scheming with my friend Abby. After a week hiking the bejeezus out of Banff National Park and the surrounding areas, we’re experiencing a bit of culture shock being back in a big city. More on all of that in future posts, though. For now, chocolate French toast.
A talented chef and caterer
We spent a handful of lucky days last week staying with our dear friends in Calgary. We had a top-notch lunch out at one of Calgary’s few vegetarian restaurants and ate some delicious ice cream (more on that later, too) — but mostly we took advantage of the fact that our host Roxane is a talented chef and caterer. One day she made us two separate breakfasts (!!) — crepes for the kids (which of course I tried too) and this beautiful granola with yogurt and rhubarb compote.
A sophisticated take on chocolate French toast
Another day we had a sophisticated take on chocolate French toast, made from hearty sourdough bread and piled with fresh berries and chopped stone fruit. I think this is the first time I’ve posted a recipe on the blog that I haven’t cooked myself, but I watched and ate and applied a bit of my own French toast experience when writing the recipe, so I don’t think you’d be out of your mind to trust me. (That said, I’ll cook it myself when we get home and make any adjustments necessary.) I also have designs on posting a 20-minute sushi bowl dinner that she whipped up one night, but that one I’ll have to rebuild from memory and wish-we-were-still-there conversations later in the summer.
Until then, treat yourself to some chocolate French toast and a hike or two. Hope you’re all enjoying the tail end of the summer.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup soy milk or other milk of choice
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 slices hearty sourdough bread (we used a seeded multigrain variety)
- Butter for cooking
- Fresh berries and chopped stone fruit
- Whipped cream, if you like
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add about half of the milk and whisk until the cocoa and sugar are incorporated and not lumpy. Whisk in the rest of the milk along with the eggs and vanilla.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish. Add as many of the bread slices as will fit in a single layer. Let them sit and soak up the liquid for a minute or two, then flip and soak the other side.
- Melt a generous pat of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add as many soaked bread slices as will fit without crowding. Cook for a few minutes until browned on the underside, then flip and continue cooking for a few minutes more, until browned and cooked through. (Adjust heat as necessary and keep a sharp eye out for burning since the sugar and cocoa in the egg mixture can go quickly from good to bad.)
- Repeat the soaking and cooking process with all 8 slices of bread.
- Serve topped with fresh berries and stone fruit, along with a dollop of whipped cream if you like.
Roxane referred to several recipes in developing this one, including one from a website that we couldn't find again and also the chocolate French toast from the blog Handle the Heat. If we do ultimately uncover the original reference, I'll add it here. Either way, she adapted it substantially, as one does, having previously catered for the Queen of England.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 9.5gCarbohydrates: 62.1gFiber: 3.2gProtein: 9g