Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 2, 2013

Treat mom to healthy French toast

BY SARA MOULTON The Associated Press
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Time for a confession. As a child, I never once celebrated Mother’s Day. My parents thought the holiday was nothing more than a cheesy excuse to sell greeting cards, and who was I to argue?

But after I became a mother myself? Oh. My. God.

I’d spent years working 80 hours a week as a restaurant chef, and that was nothing compared to the amount of work required of the mother of a newborn. I buckled down and got the job done, but not without help. And not before establishing that in our house, we’d most certainly be celebrating Mother’s Day. And not just once a year, but once a week. Every Sunday.

At my insistence, The Husband did just as much diaper-changing, baby-bathing and bottle-feeding as yours truly. I also charged him with preparing and serving me breakfast in bed on Sunday mornings.

Once Ruthie — our dear daughter — began to grow up, she and I started baking together. Then, when Ruthie was about 5, I invented a special recipe just for her. It incorporated two of her favorite things, French toast and chocolate. And I added one of mine, raspberries. Not only did my little chocoholic love the taste of our French toast, she also loved to make it.

The following recipe — perfect for breakfast-in-bed for Mom on Mother’s Day — is a little healthier than the original. We start with whole-wheat bread, replace some of the whole eggs with egg whites and swap in raspberry sauce for maple syrup. Complement the finished French toast with some freshly squeezed orange juice and a pot of freshly brewed coffee, and you’re off to the races.

By the way, I began calling my own mom every Mother’s Day the minute I learned for myself just how tough a gig it is. Love ya, Mom!

Chocolate-stuffed French Toast with Raspberry Sauce

1 pint (2 c.) fresh raspberries, plus extra to garnish

¼ c. sugar, divided

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1 c. 1 percent milk

1 ½ t. vanilla extract

Pinch of table salt

8 slices whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Heat the oven to 350°.

In a blender or food processor, combine the raspberries with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar. Puree, then pour through a mesh strainer. Discard the seeds and set aside the sauce.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites. Add the milk, vanilla, salt and remaining 1 ½ T. sugar. Whisk until well combined.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium. Dip 2 slices of the bread in the egg mixture until well soaked. Place the soaked slices in the skillet and sprinkle each with a quarter of the chocolate. Dip another 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture, then set them on top of the chocolate, pressing gently but firmly so the pieces adhere.

Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread and chocolate, coating the pan with additional cooking spray. When all of the stuffed French toast has been cooked in the skillet and transferred to the baking sheet, bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Cut each portion in half on the diagonal, drizzle with some of the raspberry sauce and garnish with additional raspberries. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 130 calories from fat (34 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 95 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrate; 9 g fiber; 26 g sugar; 17 g protein; 400 mg sodium.