This recipe is over the top, but doesn’t your mom deserve the most decadent brunch treat imaginable? Mother’s Day. A universal day of appreciation dedicated to the woman that has gone to all extremes to put a smile on your face, even during the most challenging of situations. This day is to honor her.
A few weeks ago, I was playing around with a sandwich cookie recipe that was stuffed with homemade fluff. My family was thrilled to have access to this treat, and I was happy the fluff was devoid of all the preservatives found in the store bought variety. Plenty was left over, and when poking around the pantry I stumbled upon a few other key ingredients that sparked my creative brunch juices — my absolute most favorite raisin challah bread, graham crackers, Lindt caffé latte chocolate squares, dark chocolate ganache, raspberries and candied bacon. It was a dream come true.
On weekends challah French toast is one of my go-to meals. When my kids were young they attended the JCC’s preschool, the ECE, in Marin, and as a family we became hooked on this Friday tradition/treat. So hooked, that years after they have graduated, I still faithfully go back to the ECE every Friday during the school year and pick-up challah. The teachers and staff all know me, and it is a community I have been proud to be part of.
When reminiscing about my children’s pre-school days, I am reminded that being a mom who discovered challah while bringing her kids to their first school has an extra dose of specialness to it. When we moved back from New Zealand the second time, our eldest was about two years old. It was during that era that pediatricians recommend that if you wanted to get your child into the preschool of your choice you should sign up when they turned six months old! I obviously didn’t subscribe to that theory, and since we were due to be living out of the country it didn’t seem like a priority. When we moved home, all of the preschools that I had heard about were full. I was on the wait list.
One day my Grandmother called me and said she had heard that the JCC had a preschool program, quite close to my house. I had been a member of their gym when I lived in San Francisco years before, but I had yet to see this nearby location. I called and set up a visit.
And the rest was history, I instantly fell in love with the teachers, their love of children, singing, art and food celebrations. The ECE held many wonderful celebration days for parents to attend and share with their little ones. It was a very special time in my life. And even today, it remains a part of our family history. It helped me to savor being a new mom, and I did cry when our years there were complete.
Now that you know how challah is part of my motherhood DNA, you can fully appreciate this post. Enough about my motherhood journey and back to the mother’s of the world who deserve a little something special.
This recipe has two versions, vegetarian and carnivore. Be sure to read over the full recipe as there are four ingredients lists – Marshmallow Fluff, Candied Bacon, Ganache, and S’More Stuffed French Toast
A few of these steps can be done ahead of time; the fluff and the candied bacon. See below for both recipes. If there is no time to make fluff and you can use large marshmallows cut into four pieces. A cold wet knife works best for this sticky project.
Warning: A candy thermometer is needed for this recipe.
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
3 egg whites
2 TBS light corn syrup
In a medium size pot, over medium heat, add sugar, water and light corn syrup. Mix well so that there are no granules of sugar on the sides of the pot. Bring the mixture up to 250 degrees. Using a stand mixer whip the egg whites with the second amount of corn syrup on low speed until it becomes a foamy consistency. The egg whites and corn syrup should still be visible under the foam.
Once the syrup reaches 250 degrees, pour it slowly and carefully down the side of the bowl in which egg whites are being whipped. Slowly turn the machine to high and beat until a stiff meringue is achieved. It is ready when the stand mixer starts to ‘whine’ and sounds different. Patience is required. This step can take a bit of time.
Scrape fluff into a jar or a if using immediately, into a pastry bag to pipe onto the French toast.
Note: This can be made a week ahead of time and stored at room temperature in a cool place.
1 package bacon
Line a cookie sheet or pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread your bacon atop the aluminum foil, then heavily coat each piece with brown sugar. Allow it to bake until crispy, approximately 17-20 minutes. The exact time will depend upon the thickness of the bacon. Remove the pan from the oven (resist eating the bacon), transfer to another cookie sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Allow to cook and then break into small pieces. If not using immediately, store in the refrigerator for a up to a week.
A few tips when baking bacon in the oven …
• Don’t pre-heat the oven! Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in.
• Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.
S’More Stuffed Cafe Latte Raspberry French Toast
French Toast Ingredients
4 slices of egg bread (raisin challah bread preferred)
4 graham crackers
4 Lindt Caffe Latte (or milk chocolate with ½ tsp instant espresso granules added)
2 TBS marshmallow fluff (recipe below or 4 marshmallows)
1/8 cup milk
2 tsps vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup dark chocolate chips
French Toast Directions
Slice bread into thick pieces. In a food processor, pulse until graham crackers are ground into fine crumbs. In a flat bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon an nutmeg. Mix well to combine and set aside. In a large pan, melt butter over low heat.
Dip bread into egg batter, coating on both sides, and then repeat by dredging in graham cracker crumbs. If using fluff then spread generously onto one side of one piece of bread, add chocolate squares and then raspberries and candied bacon (if using). If using whole marshmallows toast by whatever means safely necessary! Once you have toasted your marshmallow, remove the toasted outside to put in your French toast for optimal delicious roasted marshmallow flavor.
Begin to prepare the dark chocolate ganache. In a small pot add whipping cream and heat over medium until it begins to boil. Stir regularly as to avoid a thick skin forming on the milk. Once it begins to boil, turn off heat and add in chocolate chips. Stir with spoon until chocolate is dissolved. Set aside.
Place second piece of bread on top of the marshmallow mixture and gently press down. Slightly turn up the heat in the pan and place French toasts in the pan to finish cooking. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side to heat through. Once plated, cut into halves and drizzle dark chocolate ganache on top.
Serve with a nice hot coffee or tall cold glass of milk for your added tasting pleasure.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM…..YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL TO ME!