The earliest known reference to “French” toast is actually found in the Apicius, a collection of Roman recipes written in ancient Latin or Vulgar dating back to the 4th century. The recipe directs the “house slave cook” to soak the bread in milk—not eggs—although the ancient editor suggests eggs might make it richer. The dish doesn’t next appear until it is listed as a 14th-century German recipe under the name "Arme Ritter.”
There are references to recipes for "pain perdu" in several 15th-century English books. A 1660 recipe for "French Toasts" is different, but is nothing more than toasted bread soaked in wine, sugar, and orange juice. A similar dish, suppe dorate, was popular in the Middle Ages in England, although it is rumored that the English might have stolen the recipe from the Normans who had a dish called tostees dorees.
French toast topped with maple syrup, fresh fruit and whipped cream is a rather American recipe. Slices of bread are soaked or dipped in mixture of beaten eggs and milk or cream. The slices of egg-coated bread are fried on both sides until they are browned and cooked through. Day-old bread is often recommended by chefs because stale bread will soak up more egg mixture without falling apart.
The cooked slices are often topped with jam, butter, peanut butter, honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, fruit syrup, molasses, apple sauce, whipped cream, fruit, chocolate, cinnamon-sugar, yogurt, powdered sugar, marmalade and even ice cream topped with toasted pecans or almonds.
Stuffed French toast is a sandwich of two pieces of French toast filled with bananas, strawberries, or other fruit. It is usually topped with butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. But now there are Chocolate French Toast Sandwiches which can be served as a great breakfast or brunch entrée or an elegant dinner-time dessert.
In my family when I was growing up French toast was considered a weekend treat. I loved the flavors of the eggy custard blended with sandwich bread and topped with maple syrup and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. In this recipe I take it one step further to create a wonderful, chocolaty, Authentically American cousin of the original French toast.
8 large eggs
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup half and half
8 slices of brioche bread, thick sliced (day old or stale bread works best)
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1 banana thinly sliced
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
ChefSecret: Can’t find brioche bread? Use thick cut white bread, Texas toast or Jewish challah bread. In place of the bananas you can substitute fresh berries or sliced grilled peaches in the summer months.