This recipe is developed in partnership with Milk. Love what's real.
Valentine’s Day tends to be one of those polarizing holidays. Some folks love all the romance that comes with it, while others find the pressure to make and do something special overwhelming.
But the best present for yourself (and your loved ones) is a meal that feels like a treat but that won’t stress you out! That’s where this special French toast comes in. It’s the perfect balance of easy-to-make yet special occasion-worthy.
VIDEO: How to Make Chocolate Raspberry French Toast
How to Make Chocolate Raspberry French Toast
So How Do You Make Chocolate French Toast?
Making chocolate French toast is similar to making regular French Toast, but we're using unsweetened cocoa powder and a little extra sugar. Combine all the batter ingredients together, soak the bread in the batter, then fry it up.
The addition of chocolate maple syrup is optional, but it’s an easy way to bring this dish to the next level!
What Type of Cocoa Should I Use for This Recipe?
Most recipes specify using either Dutch-processed cocoa or natural cocoa. Dutch-processed cocoa has a different acidity level than natural cocoa, so it functions differently in baked goods. But since you aren’t actually baking anything here, you can use whatever cocoa you have on hand!
Having said that, Dutch-processed cocoa is really preferred because it actually dissolves easier in the milk than natural cocoa. But if you have natural cocoa, don’t worry: you'll just have to stir the cocoa a little bit more to get it to dissolve. The results will be fantastic regardless!
What Type of Milk Is Best?
Using your favorite nutrient-rich dairy milk in this recipe is the way to go for the best results. This recipe was tested with whole milk, which has the highest percentage of milk fat. But you can use any real dairy milk for this recipe, including low-fat and non-fat milk. Just keep in mind that whole milk will give you a slightly richer tasting chocolate French toast.
What Kind of Bread Should I Use? Does It Have to Be Stale?
French toast is a great way to use up old stale bread, and chocolate French toast is no different! Stale bread is actually preferred because it has less moisture, so it'll soak up more of the batter.
But if you use fresh bread, you'll be just fine. This recipe actually uses challah bread, which is an egg enriched bread, that works really well with the chocolate batter. Slice it thick so it'll absorb more batter!
Can I Make This Dish Ahead of Time?
Chocolate French toast is quick and easy to make and tastes best right after you make it. But you can make it ahead of time. To do so, let it cool, then store it in an airtight container. To reheat, warm the French toast up in the microwave or a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm.
Chocolate Raspberry French Toast
- For the French toast:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, Dutch-processed preferred (see note above)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups real milk, whole preferred but any dairy milk will work
- 8 large eggs
- 12 thick slices of bread, challah preferred
- To fry:
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- For the chocolate maple syrup:
- 3 ounces (85 g) dark chocolate, chopped (can use semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (11 ounces or 315 g) maple syrup, not pancake syrup
Preheat the oven:
Set oven to 200°F, or the lowest temperature available.
Mix together dry and wet ingredients:
Place the sugar, cocoa, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Pour in half the milk and whisk until the dry ingredients dissolve. Whisk in the remaining milk. Beat in the eggs.
Soak the bread with the chocolate milk mixture:
Place the bread in a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan. Pour the chocolate milk batter all over the bread. Poke the bread with a fork, and flip to make sure it gets completely coated.
Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, periodically flipping the bread to ensure it absorbs the batter evenly. You want the bread to feel heavy and saturated, but not falling apart.
Make the chocolate maple syrup:
While the bread is absorbing the batter, make the chocolate maple syrup by placing the chocolate and salt in a heatproof bowl.
Place the maple syrup in a small saucepan and heat until it starts to boil and bubble at the edges of the pan. Pour the hot syrup over the chocolate and then stir together with a whisk until the chocolate is melted.
Warm the butter and oil:
In a large skillet, place 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over high heat. Warm until the butter has melted and starts to foam.
Fry the French toast:
Reduce heat to medium-low and place three of the pieces of bread in the pan (or however many will comfortably fit, don’t overcrowd the pan). Don’t use a high heat, as the sugar in the batter tends to burn easily.
Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom of the toast looks dry and slightly puffy. Flip the toast and repeat on the other side, frying another 2 to 3 minutes.
Unlike regular French toast, chocolate French toast is dark so it’s hard to tell if it’s done. Just touch and poke the top of the toast once you’ve flipped it. If it’s a little “bouncy” and has a slight glossy slick feel without being wet or moist, that side is done.
Keep toast warm until ready to serve:
Once your first batch of toast is done, move it to a wire rack on top of a baking pan and place it in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining toast, using the remaining butter and oil.
To serve, dust the toast with powdered sugar. Top with whipped cream, raspberries, and chocolate maple syrup. Serve with a glass of real milk!