Friday, 13 January 2012

We Should Cocoa: Baked French Toast

This month's We Should Cocoa is hosted by Chele over at the Chocolate Teapot. She has challenged us to make something healthy for the new year. You can see the orange round up here.

I'm not going to lie to you. You already know that the word 'healthy' doesn't actually feature around here much. Cake, brownies, fudge, tarts, more cake, big cake, small cake, cakes made from soup, more brownies, donuts, and biscuits... And you would think that I am the size of a house. But I'm not.

The rest of the time, when I'm not knee deep in butter, I eat pretty healthily. Apart from the odd sneaky takeaway and swift meals out (drifts off into MEATliquor daydream), all our food is cooked from scratch at home. I cant actually tell you the last time I ate a ready meal. I run three times a week and take pole dancing lessons too. I simply believe in moderation. And I dont launch myself into a self loathing hate spiral if I demolish a packet of jaffa cakes. Stuff happens. Jaffa cakes happen. Deal with it.

I decided to take something that I love eating for brunch but limit myself on - French Toast - and try and healthy-it-up a bit. Baking rather than frying, egg whites only, fruit, very dark chocolate and some lovely seeded granary bread is the key. I based my recipe on this one, its perfect for a get ahead breakfast.

Serves 3-4

6 slices of wholemeal granary bread
3 eggs whites
250ml skimmed milk
2tbsp honey
1tsp vanilla extract
1 pear - cored and chopped into chunks
Small handful of raisins
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
25gr dark chocolate - roughly chopped

1, Spray a by baking tin with cake release spray and set to one side
2, Cut off the side and bottom crusts of the bread and chop these into small bite size chunks and put the chunks in a bowl and leave the slices to one side.
3, In a bowl or jug beat together the egg whites, skimmed milk, honey and vanilla extract until well combined.
4, Add the pear, raisins, ground cinnamon and dark chocolate into the bowl with the bread crust chunks and toss together until well combined.
5, Arrange the bread slices in the tin, interspersing with the dry pear/raisin/bread/etc mix.
6, Pour over the milk mixture evenly and cover with clingfilm. Pop this in the fridge for a anything over 8 hours. I left mine overnight.
7, Take the french toast out of the fridge and preheat your oven to 160o/c. Replace the clingfilm with foil and bake for 30mins covered. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown and piping hot through.
8, Cut into slices and serve.


  1. What a delicious sounding breakfast, scrumptious.

  2. If I could have French Toast for breakfast every morning for the rest of my life, I'd be one happy me! Lovely addition of chocolate...yummmm! And I love you've written out the recipe and taken a photo of it- such a nice touch to the post!

  3. Lovely idea - I could definitely eat a large amount of this. Although, maybe a large amount would be less healthy for me - I speak as someone who is fast approaching the size of a decent sized family house.

  4. Brilliant Hannah - so glad you are into cake, it's all part of a balanced diet ;-)

    Haven't had French toast for years. Yours sounds a lovely idea, which I guess with the addition of chocolate, it just has to be.

  5. Glad I am not the only one able to dispose of so many jaffa cakes in one sitting ;-)

    Great idea to healthy up french toast, in fact with the sound of your ingredients makes me want to eat it more!