Nutella Stuffed French Toast

What better way to surprise your love on Valentines Day than with breakfast in bed.  I'm not just talking cereal and orange juice, don't even think about it.  I'm talking super tasty french toast stuffed to the brim with Nutella and strawberries.  This is the breakfast of kings, the brownie points you'll receive for this bad ass meal will keep you out of trouble for weeks!

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

2 large eggs
50ml milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large slices of bread, preferably brioche
knob of butter
Handful of strawberries, sliced
Icing sugar, for dusting

In a small bowl mix together the milk, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla.  Set aside.  Heat a large knob of butter in a large frying pan while you prepare your toast.

Spread two slices of bread with a thick slathering of Nutella and sandwich together with the plain slices.  Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture, one by one ensuring each side is soaked in the egg mixture.  Transfer the sandwiches into the hot frying pan and cook on each side until golden brown.

Remove from the pan and scatter with the sliced strawberries before dusting with icing sugar.  Best served in bed with a mug of tea and a big kiss.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Birthday Cake

One thing about being a baker is you're always expected to supply a showstopping cake for any upcoming Birthdays.  Not that I mind baking for my nearest and dearest, the hard thing is coming up with something to top your previous offering.  That's where this off the hook chocolate peanut butter number comes in.  I'm dreading next year because this cake is going to take some topping!

I decorated the top of my cake with some leftover frosting and Miniature Reeses Pieces but it looks just as good left plain.

400g softened butter
400g caster sugar

6 large free range eggs
400g self-raising flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
150ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
250g good quality dark chocolate
3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
150ml double cream

For the frosting:
500g icing sugar

200g unsalted butter, softened
150g full fat Philadelphia

200g smooth peanut butter
3-4 tablespoons full fat milk


Preheat the oven to 170 C.  Grease and line three 8" cake tins with baking parchment. 

Cream the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes until pale and creamy. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, until combined.  If it starts to curdle just add a table spoon of your flour while mixing.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and add to your egg mixture. Stir the dry ingredients through before adding your milk and vanilla extract.

Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Leave to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tins and continuing to cool an a rack.

While cooling make the glaze.  In a heavy bottomed pan over a low heat melt together the chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup until smooth and combined.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the double cream.  Leave to cool while you frost the cake. 

To make the peanut butter frosting, beat the butter, peanut butter with the icing sugar and cream cheese for a few minutes, adding the milk when it feels too still, you want an easily spreadable texture. Using a large pallet knife frost the middles of each cake, stacking as you go.  Frost the cakes all over, smoothing as you go.  This is a great guide to getting super smooth frosting. Leave to set for twenty minutes in the fridge.
Now the fun bit.  Once your frosting has set a little simply pour the glaze over the cake, allowing it to ooze down the side of the cake helping it along with an offset pallet knife.  Pop the cake back into the fridge for an hour before decorating the top as desired.
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