Now that the Super Bowl is over, I’m ready to share a few Valentine’s Day goodies with all of you. I know that not everyone celebrates it, many saying it’s just a consumer driven holiday, etc. I thought the same thing until I realized that Valentine’s Day can be more than just a romantic holiday when you make it about all the people you love. If I were closer to my family, I can promise you I’d make them something special. Since I’m not, and since Eric and I are expecting a little one in less than a month (eek!), I decided to make the best of this holiday by making some seriously delicious treats that I’ll be sharing throughout the week.
This French toast is obviously meant to be a breakfast item, but it could easily double as a dessert. It’s blissfully decadent with soft challah bread, rich Nutella and sweet strawberries. Also, chocolate for breakfast is always a major win in my book. This recipe was inspired by one I saved last year for strawberry stuffed French toast. I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate chocolate since the combination of it and strawberry is one of my favorites. Using Nutella was a natural progression, and that’s how this French toast came to be. Instead of stuffing the challah with strawberries, I decided to macerate them to use as a topping. It was perfect. This French toast isn’t plagued by problems of other recipes I’ve tried. It doesn’t get soggy or overly eggy. Instead, the exterior gets golden and crisp while the interior remains soft. Whether I’m stuffing it or not, this method of making French toast will be my go-to from now on. I want to tell you to plan ahead so that you can make this for someone special on Valentine’s Day, but it’s so amazing that it would feel wrong to tell you to wait that long. If you can, I promise this breakfast will be worth it.
Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss to coat and set aside to macerate at room temperature.
Cut a pocket into each slice of bread, taking care not to cut all the way through. Fill each slice of bread with about two tablespoons of Nutella (I totally eyeballed this part, so this is just an estimate).
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. In a shallow dish or pie plate, whisk together the egg and milk. Whisk in the melted butter and vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt and whisk until smooth. Working with one or two pieces at a time, place the filled slices into the egg mixture. Soak for 30 to 40 seconds per side, allow excess to drip off and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining slices.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the heated skillet and swirl to coat. Add the slices in a single layer, taking care not to crowd the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until light golden brown. Flip and continue cooking an additional 1-2 minutes. Add more butter as needed and repeat with remaining slices. Transfer to a plate, dust with powdered sugar, then top with macerated strawberries. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Annie's Eats