Eat your coffee for breakfast with this incredible Chocolate Stuffed Brioche French toast! It's made by dipping soft, buttery brioche bread in a coffee flavored custard, stuffing it with premium chocolate, and topping it with a dollop of whipped coffee cream.
This will be the recipe to breakout for an impressive brunch for Christmas morning, Mother's day, and any special occasion for the whole family to enjoy!
Fun fact: I wasn't a fan of eggs until my junior year of college! Growing up, my mom would whip out her griddle on Sunday morning's to make french toast whenever my cousin's slept over. Hers were the only ones I would eat! Now, I make it every time I have bread going stale.
And while there's a million french toast recipes out there, this one is going to blow you away! We're using thick pillowy soft, buttery brioche bread that's soaked in a custardy coffee egg mixture. It's stuffed with glorious melted chocolate that oozes out and topped with a homemade whipped coffee cream.
🍞 What is Stuffed Brioche French Toast?
There are a million variations of French toast out there, from very basic with bread and eggs to the stuffed toasts you may see at restaurants at a premium price. Brioche French toast follows the same basic concept of dipping the bread in an egg and milk mixture, and then frying it in butter on a griddle. But this is next level for two reasons:
- Using brioche is definitely a level up to the regular French toast since it's high moisture and richer than most other breads. It's cut thick to soak in the perfect bread-to-egg ratio that's soft and custardy but sturdy enough to make a fat stack!
- It's stuffed! With chocolate!! The coffee and chocolate pairing adds another layer of decadence to this delicious breakfast.
French Toast Ingredients
This french toast recipe uses all classic ingredients - bread, eggs, and milk but we'll talk about it in detail so you can remake this recipe successfully.
Here are a few things to note:
- Brioche: The most buttery, rich soft bread! You can bake it fresh or find it in the bakery aisle of grocery stores. I swear it'll level up your French toast. You can substitute for challah or soft bread loaves.
- Coffee: Instant espresso is the best to use for both the egg mixture and coffee whipped cream for the brioche French toast!
- Cream: The coffee whipped cream is very reminiscent of Dalgona coffee, which became very popular in 2020. The whipped espresso is thick and frothy because it doesn't quite get to stiff peaks like the instant coffee crystals do. The heavy cream gives it more structure and of course makes it more of a creamy topping.
- Chocolate: I use four Valrhona chocolate feves for each french toast. I opted for a darker chocolate because it compliments the espresso powder super well. Feel free to opt for any shape, intensity, or form of chocolate that you love and I'm sure it'll taste incredible with the espresso. Just use one that melts well so you're not left with solid chunks of chocolate after cooking.
If you love brioche, check out this Chutney Cheese Brioche Buns recipe!
How to make Stuffed French Toast
Making stuffed french toast consists of three main steps that we'll go through.
Make the Egg Mixture
In a large shallow dish like a baker, whisk up the eggs. In a separate bowl or pourer, whisk together the milk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt to ensure it is fully combined.
Pour the espresso milk into the baker and whisk again to fully combine.
Stuff the bread and dip in egg mixture
Prep the brioche by cutting thick slices - they should be equivalent to two regular slices of bread. Cut the slice in the middle to about ¾ of the way down to create a pocket. You can also use two slices of bread and sandwich the chocolate inside.
Use your favorite chocolate in the center! I used four Valrhona dark chocolate feves and it was more than enough. Feel free to use chopped chocolate bars, chocolate chips, etc. I recommend finding high quality chocolate like Valrhona, Guittard, etc and treating yourself to what's about to be an amazing breakfast!
Start melting about a tablespoon of butter on a griddle or in a pan. You'll want to work quickly and dip the toast into the egg mixture, thoroughly coating both sides.
Pan fry the toast
As soon as you dip the bread into the egg mixture, transfer it over to your preheated pan or griddle. Cook a few at a time on low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes to allow the egg to cook all the way through and the chocolate to melt.
Carefully flip the bread and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side until the egg is golden brown. It's okay if the chocolate starts oozing out a little. Transfer the cooked french toast to a serving platter.
Add more butter into the pan in between batches.
☕ How to make the Whipped Coffee Cream
In my opinion, the whipped coffee cream is the best part! It's very reminiscent of the 2020 whipped Dalgona coffee trend.
Instant espresso powder doesn't quite whip as thick to stiff peaks as the coffee crystals do, though. It gets thick and frothy but never reaches medium peaks.
To make the whipped coffee cream:
- In a cup or a bowl, add equal amounts of instant espresso, sugar, and hot water. Using a hand mixture at medium speed, whip it for 3-4 minutes until it's super thick and frothy.
- Slowly add in the heavy whipping cream. Continue whipping until you achieve medium to stiff peaks. The whipped cream will be super fluffy!
How to Serve
Serve the stuffed brioche toast warm with a large dollop of the whipped coffee cream, powdered sugar, and a dusting of espresso powder or cocoa powder.
You can also serve it with additional maple syrup, butter, and fresh fruits! Here are some other ideas:
- Sliced nuts like almonds
- Nut butter
- Fresh fruits like strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, etc
- Fruit jams or preserves
- Chocolate drizzle, caramel, or Nutella
You can serve it with a brunch spread of breakfast potatoes, breakfast meats like bacon or sausage, a parfait, or scrambled eggs. Add some freshly squeezed OJ or even more freshly brewed coffee if you just can't get enough!
Tips for the best Brioche French Toast
- The bread. Use brioche bread! You can find it at your local bakery or in the bakery aisle of most grocery stores. It's best to find a loaf so that you can cut the thick slices yourself. Otherwise, you can use two slices from a precut loaf to sandwich the chocolate. You can also bake your own fresh brioche!
- Use instant espresso. It pairs amazingly well with the chocolate and makes the best coffee whipped cream.
- Stale bread. Because brioche is so high moisture, it can get really soggy if it sits in the egg mixture for too long. This isn't an issue if you're able to transfer it in one piece to the griddle, but it may begin to fall apart while you're transferring. Using day old or stale bread is the best, so plan ahead!
- Low to medium heat. Cook the French toast on low to medium heat. Because the brioche bread is thick cut, it'll take some time to cook the egg all the way through while leaving a custardy, chocolatey center that's fully melted. If it's at too high of a heat, the egg on the outside will get cooked while the center will be soggy bread with uncooked egg.
- Make ahead. Make the egg mixture a day before and allow it to sit covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours. It'll deepen the flavor significantly. Whisk it back together when ready to use the next day.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you always make too much French toast like I do, the great thing is that it holds up very well over a couple of days!
Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to five days. You can also freeze for up to 2 months. To store French toast in the freezer, wrap them individually in parchment paper or plastic wrap and then transfer them to a freezer bag.
The chocolate will re-solidify if the French toast is stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The best way to reheat is in the toaster oven to melt the chocolate and reheat the toast all the way through. Add more time if it's coming out of the freezer. It can also be reheated in a microwave at 30 seconds intervals so the chocolate doesn't burn or on a skillet for about 2 minutes on each side.
To be specific, the Nescafe instant espresso is what I used because the bitterness pairs well with chocolate. It's also what we use to get that whipped coffee cream later on. It does require mixing in sugar or honey because it's quite bitter without it.
Other options that can be substituted into the egg mixture include espresso powder, instant coffee, or about a shot of freshly brewed coffee or espresso that's been cooled to go directly into the milk. If you use freshly brewed coffee, ensure that it's been cooled otherwise it will curdle the eggs unless properly tempered.
For the coffee whipped cream, I really recommend instant espresso or coffee, or using an espresso powder.
To make the stuffed french toast, you'll need to buy an uncut loaf of brioche which you can find at most grocery stores. This is so you can slice it ¾ of the way down the middle to create a little pocket where you can add the chocolate. If you can't find this and all the brioche has already been sliced, you can just sandwich the chocolate in later steps between two slices.
It's best to use brioche that is getting a little stale. For better or worse, the brioche soaks up a ton of the egg due to its high hydration. If left for too long in the egg mixture, the brioche will be too soft and soggy. The egg will soak up to the middle where it won't get time to cook and you'll end up with a soggy center.
You can use any type of soft bread loaves for this recipe instead of brioche like challah or milk bread would be amazing, too.
You can use your favorite egg substitute like flaxseed or a brand like Just Egg instead! Please note most brioche doughs do contain eggs.
If you're looking to lower the fat content for French toast then you can absolutely omit the egg yolks and just use the egg whites. Adjust by adding 1-2 more eggs.
More Caffeine-Based Recipes to try
Chocolate Stuffed Coffee Brioche French Toast
- 4 2-inch thick cut brioche bread
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 64 g chocolate
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- powdered sugar for topping
Whipped Coffee Cream
- 2 tbsp instant espresso
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp hot water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Prep the brioche. Slice a loaf of brioche bread into 4 thick 2-inch slices. Cut into the middle of each slice, going only ¾ of the way down to create a pocket. Evenly fill each pocket with about 16g (~0.5oz) of solid chocolate.
- In a large bowl or baker, whisk together the eggs and salt until fully combined. In a small jug or pitcher, pour in the milk, espresso powder, sugar and whisk together until the espresso mixes into the milk. Pour the milk into the egg and whisk together again.
- Make the coffee whipped cream. In a bowl, add the instant espresso, sugar, and hot water. Whip it with a hand mixer until it triples in size and is very light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in the cream while continuing to whip, another 2 minutes until medium peaks form.
- Begin preheating a pan on low to medium heat and add a ¼ tbsp of butter. Dip both sides of the brioche bread into the egg mixture to fully coat it, and immediately transfer to the hot pan. Cook on one side for two minutes until golden brown, and then carefully flip to the other side. Cook it for another two minutes until the egg has cooked through and the chocolate inside has melted. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Repeat this for each slice of brioche bread.
- Serve with a dollop of the coffee whipped cream and powdered sugar.
- If you're looking to lower the fat content for French toast then you can absolutely omit the egg yolks and just use the egg whites. Adjust by adding 1-2 more eggs.
- Day old or stale brioche bread is the best to use to avoid soggy bread that will fall apart.
- How to Store Leftovers. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to five days. You can also freeze for up to 2 months. To store French toast in the freezer, wrap them individually in parchment paper or plastic wrap and then transfer them to a freezer bag.
- How to Reheat. The chocolate will re-solidify if the French toast is stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The best way to reheat is in the toaster oven to melt the chocolate and reheat the toast all the way through. Add more time if it's coming out of the freezer. It can also be reheated in a microwave at 30 seconds intervals so the chocolate doesn't burn or on a skillet for about 2 minutes on each side.