Can we all agree that brunch is not the time to exercise restraint? If it were, well then I’d not sure I’d want in on it. Because then there wouldn’t be an excuse to make this French Toast. Hazelnut Cocoa spread is good on or with everything but add in some mascarpone and it’s balanced out perfectly. This is the type of dish I’d serve for a breakfast in bed or at a holiday brunch. Or just to celebrate the weekend.
or cream cheese
for frying the French toast
Heat oven to lowest setting and place a baking sheet on the middle rack. Stir mascarpone or cream cheese with a spatula until soft then stir in chocolate-hazelnut spread, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture evenly among 6 slices of the bread then top with remaining 6 slices and lay “sandwiches” in a pan or dish large enough to fit them all snugly.
Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, sugar, remaining salt, and remaining vanilla until eggs are broken up and evenly blended. Pour over sandwiches and set aside until the majority of the custard has been soaked up, about 5 minutes. Rotate or flip sandwiches as needed to evenly coat.
Melt butter over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add two sandwiches to the pan. Fry until golden brown on one side, flip with a spatula, and fry the other side. When sandwiches are finished, move them to oven while the rest are cooking. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, transfer the French toast to a plate, and serve toped with hazlenuts, maple syrup, and whipped cream, as desired.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkmap