Chocolate Nut Butter Stuffed French Toast with Cherry and Black Tea Jam

Doreen Prei, head chef Mercer’s Catering and CBC Food Columnist

Brioche (for the French toast)
Make a pre-dough:

50 g sugar
100 g flour
42 g fresh yeast
90 g warm milk

Combine the yeast with the warm milk.

Combine the sugar and the flour. Add everything together and whisk well. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

Add to the pre-dough:

125 g egg (about 3 medium)
15 g salt
15 ml rum, gin or vodka
125 g melted butter (about 1 stick)
80 g milk

In a stand mixer add all the ingredients and mix with a dough hook.

Once mixed, add:

450 g sifted flour

Mix on medium-high for about 10 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 2 hours in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Shape the brioche dough into a loaf and place in a buttered loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 2 hours in a warm place until just doubled in size.

To finish the loaf:

2 egg yolks g
60 ml whipping cream

Combine and brush on the loaf just before baking. Bake until golden-brown, 30-35 minutes.

Cherry and Black Tea Jam

200 g frozen cherries
pinch salt
sugar to taste
dash vanilla
150 ml dry red wine or port
1 whole star anise
3 bags black tea or Earl Grey

Combine all ingredients but the tea and place in a pot. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stir once in a while. Add more sugar at the end for your liking. Steep with the tea bags for about 5 minutes then discard. Puree slightly with a hand blender or leave chunky. The jam should come nicely together.

Chocolate Nut Butter

100 g dark chocolate
100 ml whipping cream
2 T nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond or a combination)
pinch salt

In a bowl add the chocolate, cream and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl over a simmering, not boiling, water bath to melt the chocolate.

Once melted, remove from the heat and add the nut butter. Combine well. (For the drizzle afterwards, warm the chocolate and nut butter back up so it becomes fluid.)

French Toast

4 slices brioche
4 T chocolate nut butter
1 egg
splash milk
2 T butter for frying
icing sugar for dusting

Beat the egg with a splash of milk.

Spread the chocolate nut butter on one slice of the brioche and cover with another slice. Push it down with a little bit of pressure and dip both sides of the brioche into the egg mixture. Repeat.

Heat up a non-stick frying pan to medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted add the brioche and fry golden brown on both sides.

Cut in half and serve with the cherry and black tea jam. Dust with icing sugar, drizzle a little bit of the warmed-up chocolate nut butter on top and serve hot. You can also add some crushed nuts, such as walnuts or hazelnuts and sprinkle over top.

Serves 2.