Just because I love brunch, and our friend Carlita wanted something with chocolate… I wonder how it would go in our Hot Chocolate cooking team building event…?

Chocolate Hazelnut French Toast 

Ingredients

80 grams hazelnuts
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
80 gm castor sugar
80 ml water
150 ml pouring cream
100 gm dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
12 thick brioche slices
4 eggs
½ cup milk
1/8 cup triple sec
100 gm butter, chopped coarsely
icing sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray until golden (5-8 minutes). Rub with a tea towel to remove the skins. Place on lightly oiled baking tray.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until it turns to dark gold caramel (5-8 minutes). Pour onto the hazelnuts. Cool completely. Break into pieces. Process in a food processor until finely chopped.
  4. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the praline. Refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours). (If time is short, you can cool by placing in a bowl over ice and keep turning till chilled and firm.)
  5. Thickly spread half the brioche slices with the chocolate mixture. Sandwich with the remaining slices.
  6. Whisk eggs, milk, and triple sec in a bowl.
  7. Stand each sandwich in the egg mixture until soaked, about 2 minutes on each side. Shake off excess.
  8. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt one-third of the butter until foaming. Add 2 sandwiches and cook, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking tray. Wipe the pan clean. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches. Warm in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Note: You can eliminate triple sec, or use a different liqueur like amaretto.

Serves 6