It's almost New Year's Eve, which preceeds my favorite brunching day of the year, New Years Day. For the occasion, I wanted to make something breakfast and brunch appropriate and immediately thought of this Cocoa-Cinnamon Churro French Toast (aka Rabanada). Okay, it's actually a dish that Brazilians eat for dessert. On Christmas. But I thought it okay to bend the rules a bit because, let's be honest, New Year's Day is a brunch-lovers' equivalent of Christmas.
So, here it is a pull-out-the-stops, over-the-top version of French Toast that's more akin to a churro than French Toast and I'm not even gonna apologize for it. After soaking it in coconut milk (the longer the better), you fry (yes, fry!) it for a crisp, custardy Churro French Toast that takes the cake. It's brunch perfection!
(about 14 ounces)
for serving (optional)
for serving (optional)
Cut baguette on the bias into 1-inch-thick slices (you should have about 16 slices). Place eggs, coconut milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Pour mixture into a shallow dish that will snugly hold all of the bread (such as a glass baking dish or a large pie plate) and add baguette slices. Turn slices to coat well in the mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until egg mixture is almost completely absorbed, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix until evenly distributed; set aside.
When the bread has finished soaking, fill a medium pot with oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 350°F on a deep-fat thermometer. Place reserved cinnamon-cocoa mixture on a plate and set aside. Line another plate with paper towels and set aside.
Remove bread slices from the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Place 4 to 6 pieces of bread in the hot oil (being sure not to overcrowd the pot). Fry until bread slices are dark golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Youll want the oil to maintain a temperature of 325°F while the bread is frying; adjust the heat as necessary to achieve this.) Flip and fry another 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain. While still hot, dredge French toast in the cinnamon-cocoa mixture and shake off any excess. Repeat the frying process with the remaining bread slices and serve topped with berries and toasted coconut.