Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Weekend Brunch - Citrus French Toast with Blood Orange & Chocolate Sauce

In honor of the most romantic of weekends, here is a brunch that is pure love for your tastebuds!  One of my favorite chocolate companies, Vosges, has a chocolate bar called the Blood Orange Caramel bar, which was the inspiration for this recipe.  They compose dark chocolate, blood orange hibiscus-flavored caramel, and campari together to create an ultra-sweet, slightly tart, rich and floral arrangement of flavors.  It's absolutely wonderful!  This dish mimics those flavors by adding a citrus-rosewater aroma to the French toast batter and making a luxurious blood orange and dark chocolate sauce to drizzle over the top.  Does it get any sexier than that? 

This brunch is, of course, meant to be for a special occasion.  In other words, it's decadent!  A few things, however, make it nourishing for the body as well as a delight for the senses.  For one, both blood-orange and dark chocolate are loaded with antioxidants.  The batter is also a lightened version of your typical French Toast batter.  I also used homemade whole-wheat bread, which adds a wholesome note to the dish, a rustic, dry texture to the toast and lots of fiber to the meal.  You can use any bread you have on hand, just make sure it is thickly sliced.

Citrus French Toast with Blood Orange & Chocolate Sauce
Serves 2

4 thick slices of whole wheat bread
1 egg
1 blood orange
1 T rosewater
1/4 cup half and half
2/3 cup low-fat milk or soymilk
pinch of salt

Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
juice of 2 blood oranges
1 T maple syrup
1 T butter
pinch of salt

First, start the chocolate sauce.  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add all the ingredients and whisk until melted together.  Keep warm over low heat.

Zest the blood orange, then remove the peel.  Slice the orange into rounds or half-rounds for garnish.  Set aside slices.  In a shallow dish, use a fork to whisk together egg, zest, rosewater, half and half, milk and salt.  Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large, flat-bottomed pan over medium heat.  Soak each slice of bread in your liquid and allow the liquid to absorb, about one minute, flipping the slice over after the first 30 seconds.  Add soaked slices to the hot pan and fry each side of the toast for about two minutes or until golden-brown. 

Serve two slices per person, drenched in chocolate sauce, with the blood orange slices on the side.


  1. WHOA nelly! that looks amazing!!! Did you two really eat that?

  2. OH MY CHRISTOLA ON A CRACKER! That Vosges bar is my favorite. I've only had one so far, and it has ruined me.