As Spring is slowly showing her face, I realize indulgent comfort food is going to take a back seat to fresh spring vegetables (Hello, Asparagus!) and fruits (Yay, Strawberries!), but I wanted to post my take on Nutella Stuffed French Toast.
Normally, I made French toast by soaking it overnight, then baking it in the oven, similar to this recipe, since I've always had a hard time getting the right texture doing the stove top method (mine always seemed too soggy). However, on this occasion, I was inspired by a loaf of brioche that was on sale, which is the best type of bread to make French toast with, in my opinion. I know it's already rich, since brioche has egg in the bread itself, but it gets this wonderful crunch on the outside and melting texture on the inside that is the perfect kind of French toast!
The egg-milk batter that I dipped the bread in was pretty much your standard mix, but I added a little orange peel to complement the Nutella. And to up the crunchiness factor, I coated the French toast with corn flakes. I saw something similar on a cooking show (It might have been Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives where they did the same thing, but used Cap'n Crunch cereal).
This is my dipping set up:
Honestly, the trickiest part was transferring the dipped brioche from the dipping/crunch station to the frying pan (Once you dip the bread into the milk/egg mixture, the bread gets a little delicate), but after a couple of times, I got the hang of it.
And then, it was done! Served with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and some slices of Cara Cara oranges (our favorite), it was a big hit with the family! I thought it was sweet enough without syrup, but the kids put syrup on it anyway and liked it that way, too (we use pure maple syrup so it's not quite so sweet). Hope you enjoy making this!
Crunchified Nutella Stuffed French Toast
(makes 5 servings)
One loaf of brioche bread (about 8-10 slices of bread)
1/2 cup milk (any kind will do: skim, 1%, 2%, whole) -- I used 2% because that's what we have
1 tsp grated (or chopped -- it should be in small pieces) orange peel
approx. 1 cup corn flakes (may need more -- keep the box around...)
butter for the skillet
powdered sugar (optional)
maple syrup (optional)
fresh fruit for serving (optional)
Spread Nutella (using approx 1-2 Tbsp per slice) on 4/5 of the slices of bread. Cover with the other pieces of bread so that you have 4-5 Nutella "sandwiches." NOTE: start with 8 slices of bread -- for 4 "sandwiches," but I had enough of the milk-egg mixture to make a 5th serving.
Combine eggs, milk and orange peel in a shallow pan (I used a 8-inch square dish). Pour the corn flakes in another shallow dish (I used a small plate with sides so that the corn flakes didn't slide out everywhere). Set up your dipping station:
Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet. I used a small skillet to make just one at a time. If you have a larger skillet to make more than one at a time, you might need more butter. Temperature of the skillet should be about medium to medium high.
While the butter is melting in the skillet, dip one Nutella sandwich into the egg/milk mixture, then turn over to coat the other side. It should feel a little soggy. Pull the sandwich out, let the liquid drip off the bread for a second, then put on the corn flakes, pressing down onto the bread a little so the corn flakes will adhere. Flip the sandwich to get corn flakes on the other side.
Transfer the dipped sandwich onto the hot skillet. Cook on one side for about 3 minutes (check to make sure the corn flakes don't burn, but they will get a deep, golden brown, then flip to cook the other side.
Repeat with the other Nutella sandwiches. You might need to add butter to the skillet as you go (there should be a thin layer/sheen on the skillet to make sure nothing sticks) and I had to keep a close eye on the French toast, making temperature adjustments as I went to make sure nothing burned.
If you like, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top and serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup on the side.