June 30th was Chris’s birthday. Now you’re probably thinking that because Chris was lucky enough to land a
hot, awesome, sexy, smart, funny women who loves to cook, there would all kinds of wonderful dishes made in honor of his big day. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. We returned from our vacation on the 23rd of June to a packed social calendar which included concert tickets on his actual birthday so there’s was no time for home cooked meals. Still I wanted to do something, so I promised Chris that the first opportunity I had I would make him a super special breakfast. That opportunity didn’t present itself until July 12th, but I think I made up for it.
I often surprise Chris with something a little special for breakfast on Saturday mornings like breakfast burritos, shakshouka or bacon egg and cheese sandwiches so I really wanted to make this breakfast extra special. I turned to one of my favorite blogs, The Beeroness, and found a recipe for Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter French Toast. I was intrigued. I’m not the biggest french toast fan, but this breakfast was supposed to be all about Chris and this recipe sounded like something he’d enjoy.
The original recipe called for Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla, (which sounds delicious btw) but I think it’s seasonal or was a limited edition and I couldn’t find it anywhere. No worries, I just picked up a bottle of Evil Twin Ashtray Heart smoked porter and figured I could add some vanilla extract. I also decided to pick up some challah rather than the crusty Italian bread the original recipe called for.
Then I was presented with another dilemma; the recipe calls for 2/3 cup of beer, which leaves me with just over half a bottle of beer. Now my normal reaction to leftover beer from cooking is drink it! But drinking a 8.9% abv beer first thing in the morning seemed ill advised so I grabbed some semi-sweet chocolate chips and decided to whip up a chocolate beer sauce too.
I didn’t really pay attention to the proportions when I made the sauce so I can’t give you much of a recipe, but if you possess the most basic cooking knowledge you should be able to handle it. I reduced the beer in a small saucepan until it had thickened and become more syrup-y. Then I took it off the heat and whisked in a whole lot of chocolate chips and a pinch of salt until it looked thick and tasted good. Then I whisked in some cubes of butter (probably about a tablespoon) and that was it.
The dish was hit and Chris was a happy belated birthday boy!
Vanilla Smoked Porter French Toast
(Adapted ever so slightly from The Beeroness)
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup smoked porter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons buttes (plus additional as needed for cooking)
- Challah bread cut in thick slices
- Warm Chocolate Porter sauce (see above)
In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, beer, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combines.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Dip each slice of bread in the wet mixture until coated but not soggy.
Working in batches, add challah slices to the pan and cook until browned e, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer slices to plate and pour chocolate sauce over them. I also added sliced strawberries for good measure.