this is a great way to start Val1entine’s Day with a
delicious surprise breakfast that you can prepare ahead.
½ CUP BUTTER – unsalted
1 CUP BROWN SUGAR – packed
6 (thick) SLICES BRIOCHE BREAD
2-3 TBS PANCAKE or CORN SYRUP
5 EGGS – large
1 ½ CUPS HALF & HALF – not low fat
1 TSP VANILLA or ALMOND EXTRACT
1 TSP GRAND MARNIER – or to taste
PINCH OF SALT
POWDERED SUGAR – for dusting
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat, adding brown sugar slowly as it melts and stir until sugar has totally dissolved and the syrup is hot and smooth. Pour this into a 9X13-inch casserole.
Cut the crusts from the bread and arrange in the baking dish, all in a single layer just overlapping slightly if necessary. Whisk the eggs with the half&half in a bowl until well blended and slightly frothy. Next whisk in the Grand Marnier, extract and salt and pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or even overnight.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º.
While oven is heating, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow to come to almost room temperature. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and puffed. 35-40 minutes.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, top (optionally with fresh raspberries) and serve with some extra syrup on the side. Your day is off to a great start! Questo e amore!
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SOUFFLE
A perfect Valentine’s Day Dessert
¼ CUP PISTACHIOS – shelled, raw, unsalted
UNSALTED BUTTER – for the 4 ramekins
½ CUP SUGAR – for dusting
¼ CUP RASPBERRY PRESERVES
6 oz BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE – chopped
1 EGG YOLK
PINCH OF SALT
6 EGG WHITES – room temp
½ CUP HEAVY CREAM
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375º
Position rack in the center of the oven. Toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, turning a few times, and bake until fragrant and slightly darkened – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven, cool to room temperature and then coarsely chop.
In the meantime, butter 4 ramekins with a pastry brush and then sprinkle liberally with the sugar, tilting the ramekin to make sure it is completely coated. Put the prepared ramekins on a baking sheet.
Combine chocolate and preserves in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of water that is slightly simmering. (Very important to make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touched by the water.) Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is very smooth – 2-3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the egg yolk and a pinch of salt making sure the yolk is well combined.
In the bowl of your stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, adding a pinch of salt, on medium speed until frothy. When getting frothy, gradually add the ½ cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue beating just until medium peaks form – about 6-8 minutes.
With your rubber spatula, fold one-quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten the mixture a little. Then fold in the remainder of the egg whites in 2 batches. Divide the batter among the 4 ramekins, filling them evenly until all the batter is used. Transfer the ramekins to the oven and bake the souffles until the tops feel firm when touched – 18-20 minutes.
Meanwhile with your electric mixer, on medium speed beat the cream, until soft peaks form. Dollop each of the souffles with cream, top with the chopped pistachios and serve immediately.