Holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day are perfect for a proper brunch, especially one that incorporates spring ingredients. This Easter, we took inspiration from the gorgeous berries we found at the market and put a made this Challah French Toast with Whipped Ricotta. We upgraded the French Toast batter with the addition of Grand Marnier, and swapped out syrup for a creamy ricotta topping.
Our whipped ricotta topping is similar to a cannoli filling. When you make this, be sure to seek out hand dipped ricotta. It tends to be smoother in texture and more flavorful. We used Bellwether Farms ricotta and it was perfection. You may want to make extra topping because it’s so delicious your guests will be coming back for more!
If you can’t find challah bread in your grocery store, we’d suggest substituting brioche or making your own. Neither are very difficult and our favorite bread book has reliable recipes for both. If you don’t want to use Grand Marnier, you could substitute a pinch of orange zest or a few tablespoons of orange juice. To make the topping extra luxurious, add the beans from a vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste. If you’re looking for another favorite French toast, we also love this Kahlua Banana French Toast.
Strawberry Huller • Professional-Grade Nonstick Baking Sheet • Anthropologie Hammered Borealis Whisk • John Boos Maple Cutting Boards • Classic Chambord Copper 8 Cup French Press • All-Clad Stainless Steel 12″ Skillet
- 1 loaf of challah bread, sliced into 1 inch slices (about 8-9 slices)
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, plus more as needed
- 1.5 Cups Ricotta (hand dipped ricotta if possible)
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar, plus extra for serving
- 1 pint of Strawberries
- Mint, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 170F.
- Hull or cut the top off of the strawberries. Put the top side down on a cutting board and make thin slices of equal width downward through the entire strawberry so that you have 3-5 slices, depending on the size of the strawberry.
- To make the whipped ricotta topping, combine the ricotta, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and ½ cup powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, whip until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- To make the batter, combine the eggs, milk, Grand Marnier, and 1 tablespoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to combine well until smooth.
- Melt a small slice of butter (about ½ tablespoon) in a medium to large skillet over medium-low heat. The skillet should be hot enough that the butter bubbles but does not brown. Test the temperature by dripping a little batter into the skillet. It should begin cooking immediately but should not splatter.
- Place 2-3 slices of bread into the batter for about 1 minute on each side, flipping once to coat both sides.
- Add the battered pieces of bread to the skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip and repeat on the second side. Remove toast from hot pan and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining slices. Repeat until all of the slices are cooked and only add extra butter if needed.
- Serve warm and top with ricotta, berries, and mint sprigs. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.