I don’t know about y’all but here in the south Sunday Brunch is huge. Whether it is the anticipation of sweet and savory delights after church, a lovely gathering of friends across a well set table or the weekend ritual of cooking favorite family recipes on a slow lazy morning, Sunday Brunch is a beloved tradition. From casual to all decked out, we adore it. Here on the coast some of our area restaurants bring in local musicians and break out menus devoted strictly to brunch with decadent treats that keep you surprised and enticed for more.
What better way to kick off 2011 (slightly belated) than with a new recipe section devoted to all dishes brunch worthy and over the top. Sunday Brunch will be a little corner in which I can share with you all some of my crazy “Go Big or Go Home” recipes, a few beloved recipes that I have been dying to try for years from my ever growing cookbook collection and possibly some recipes that y’all deem worthy to suggest. Simply put, it’s just more food fun to be had by all. This has been a nibbling idea for some time now but until this little concoction popped into my brain the other day I was torn over which recipe to start with. Thank goodness for light bulb moments.
Let’s start with the obvious, I’m addicted to cannolis. Over the moon in love with them and I’m impatient, that’s how this dream child came about. I woke up last Sunday morning with a craving for sweet cannolis but with little desire to make the shells. Then voila! I could make the filling, which is super duper easy, grab a loaf of thick pancetta bread and stuff it. You guys know how I like to stuff and marry together oddities.
First things first, prep work.
Slice the bread into nice thick slices approx. 1 1/2 to 2 inches depending on your preference, I went with 2 inches. Then you will need to make a nice even cut across the top, almost as if you were trying to make two slices out of the one but cut just shy of half way down.
Then form a pocket inside each slice of bread by gently pushing down the soft insides. The more space inside your slice of bread means more yummy filling for you. Gotta love it!
Next make the delicious, eat with a spoon all day long, cannoli filling. All you will need is ricotta cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla and of course chocolate chips. Combine the ricotta, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well combined.
Then toss in the chocolate chips. Make sure that you have a least 15 chips per spoonful once you’ve finished stirring the filling. Nah, I’m just teasing but wouldn’t that be grand?!
Take each slice of bread and stuff away y’all. Like any good cannoli they will need to chill for a bit. Approx. 20 minutes, long enough for you to enjoy the serenity of a quite house over a cup of coffee while you wait for everyone else to wake up.
You could also use a portion of that time to prep your egg batter. For this recipe I went with something a little less traditional. I mixed together equal parts cocoa powder and confectioners sugar with a hint of cinnamon.
Add the cocoa sugar mix to the milk along with two eggs and whisked well.
Coat each stuffed bread slice in the chocolatey egg batter for approx. 30 seconds.
Place each slice directly into a well buttered hot skillet to bubble and sizzle with love. Cook on each side for no more than 3 minutes or until golden brown. The aroma of chocolate and cinnamon caramelizing will definitely wake up those stragglers lounging in bed.
Plate and serve as is, with a decadent sweet filling and a chocolate caramelized coating you really don’t need anything extra with this bad boy but then again…
It totally rocks when you go all crazy on it with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup.
Now that is was I call “lickable”! Can you see the grin here y’all? Oh yeah cat-canary-EATEN.
I hope that you guys enjoy giving this recipe a try for brunch or breakfast sometime soon. As always tweak it, play with it, make it your own…then come back and tell me all about it.
Love you bunches!
Tickled Red, Two Thrilled Monkeys and a Totally Stoked Surfer
Cannoli Stuffed French Toast–Makes Approx. 10-12 slices
Prep Time-Approx. 30 minutes (includes chilling)
Cook Time: Approx: 36 minutes
2 loaves of pancetta or country bread unsliced
2-16 ounce containers ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-12 ounce bag chocolate morsels
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4-6 teaspoons unsalted butter
Slice the bread into nice thick slices approx. 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Make a nice even cut across the top, almost as if you were trying to make two slices out of the one but cut just shy of half way down. Form a pocket inside each slice of bread by gently pushing down the soft insides.
For the filling, combine the ricotta, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well combined. Then toss in the chocolate chips.
Using a tablespoon stuff each slice of bread, store in an air tight container and place in the refrigerator to chill for approx. 20 minutes. *Another option would be to make the filling first, chill in a covered mixing bowl & then stuff the bread. Either way works well*
Combine in a small bowl cocoa powder, confectioners sugar and cinnamon. In a medium size mixing bowl, add the cocoa sugar mix to the milk, two eggs and whisk together well.
Coat each stuffed bread slice in the chocolate infused egg batter for approx. 30 seconds
Place each slice directly into a well buttered hot skillet. Cook on each side for no more than 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Plate and serve as is along with fresh fruit or top with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup for some added fun.