Chocolate Hot Cross Bun French Toast

Words: Karl Tessendorf

Whipping Up a French Toast Frenzy

French toast was one of the first things I ever learnt to cook and it’s still one of my all time favourite dishes. I can still remember my mother slaving away in front of multiple pans, cooking furiously to keep up with the demand of her five piranha-like children. She’d flip pieces onto the table two at a time and in an instant they’d disappear. Some liked it sweet, some liked it savoury but one thing’s for sure, we all loved those French toast feeding frenzies.

Like so many things in life, the beauty of French toast lies in its simplicity. All you need is bread, milk, eggs, butter and syrup, and you’ve got yourself a feast. But once again, as in life, if something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. I’ve made French toast with every bread and baked good you can imagine, but one of my favourites has to be hot cross buns. They’re sweet, spicy and only really available in abundance once a year, which makes them feel like a real treat.

As I made my way to Woolies for my annual purchase of five million buns, I remembered that they also make chocolate hot cross buns. The purist in me said get the traditional, but the allure of chocolately French toast was too hard to ignore. I bought a pack of each and… okay fine I bought two packs of each, then headed home to fire up the stove.

When it comes to French toast batter, everyone has their own method. For me, I like a rich and creamy batter with just a hint of spice. For this I use only the egg yolks to really amp up the custard factor. I also use half milk and half cream to give the mixture a creamy smoothness. For sweetness I use a little demerara sugar and vanilla, and for spice a pinch of cinnamon. You could also add a touch of lemon zest, a pinch of nutmeg, or even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if you’re feeling dangerous.

For toppings on this the inaugural batch of chocolate hot cross bun French toast I’ve gone all out. We’ve got a tart raspberry compote to complement the sweetness of the chocolate and syrup, and we’ve got a blueberry butter to add a creamy balance. To top it all off, we’ve got some crushed pistachios to add a little texture and saltiness. Yup this is certainly not a slimmer’s breakfast but then again French toast isn’t supposed to be.

Overall I’d say that this year’s batch of hot cross bun French toast has been the best one yet. I made this recipe both traditional and chocolate buns and can safely say they were both bloody delicious. As much as the purist in me is loathed to admit it, I think the chocolate buns came out tops. One can only guess what new version they’ll think of next year. With any luck it’ll be a hot cross bacon bun.

See the recipe HERE.


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