This is a simple traditional French dessert with a little twist. This pain perdu is a livened up French Toast – the secret lies in allowing the bread to soufflé slightly in the oven so it has a wonderful, smooth texture in the center. By crusting the bread with toasted coconut and roasted pistachios, it brings a tropical flavor to the dish that complements Dolce very nicely.
Serves 8; Two halves per person
1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
¼ cup shredded coconut, finely chopped
1 loaf of dense bread or Texas toast, unsliced
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon butter
Vanilla or caramel ice cream
Mix the pistachios and shredded coconut and spread onto a dinner plate. Set aside. Slice bread into 1-inch thick slices. Blend together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, coconut milk and rum then pour into a shallow bowl. Immerse the slices of bread in the liquid and soak for two minutes, remove, and allow excess liquid to drip off. Press the bread down onto the pistachio and coconut mixture, then flip over and repeat, being careful not to knock off the coating.
In a skillet pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon of butter and coat the pan. Sear both sides of the bread until golden brown, then remove and place on a sheet pan. Bake the bread at 325ºF until the bread starts to puff up or “soufflé” –this should take about six to ten minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes, then slice diagonally and serve with vanilla or caramel ice cream. Enjoy!