This post was sponsored by King’s Hawaiian as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
King’s Hawaiian soft loaves are first filled with chocolate then baked to gooey perfection and finally topped with a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce for the ultimate holiday breakfast this season!
‘Halloween’ rightly invokes images of big bags of candy – whose contents mysteriously seems to be to be getting smaller with each passing year – expertly haunted houses, and nostalgia for the comedy-horrors of previous decades. Then again, perhaps the word sends your mind racing with new and ‘creepier’ methods for raising the dead on your own front lawn.
Today however, I’m taking a slightly different turn. I’m looking past candy wrappers, and I’ll be leaving the raising of the dead to the necromancers. Instead, I’m preparing a Halloween-themed Chocolate Stuffed French Toast, and I’ll be doing so with a little help from my new friends over at King’s Hawaiian – more on them in just a moment.
Why You’ll Love Chocolate Stuffed French Toast
1) A Treat the Entire Family Will Enjoy. A sweet twist on a already decadent classic, today’s Halloween-themed French toast has something for everyone. It’s cakey and sweet enough to make the kids think they’re being spoiled, while possessing just enough complexity to please more discerning palates. And while it’s kicked up a fair few notches from ‘regular’ French toast, it remains just similar enough to be ‘familiar’ while still keeping things fresh.
2) Perfect for a ‘Decadent Breakfast,’ or as a Dessert. Tis the season for all things sweet, and while this is assuredly the very definition of a ‘decadent breakfast,’ this also serves up nicely as a dessert, especially alongside similar ‘sweet’ seasonal coffees.
3) Make Ahead. If you’re short on time, you can easily assemble today’s recipe a day ahead of time. Simply leave it covered in the fridge, and then pop it in the oven for fifteen minutes before you’re ready to serve.
4) It Warms Up Beautifully. While this tastes great cold (as my son’s late night snaking on it can attest), today’s recipe warms up just beautifully. To warm up today’s recipe, I would suggest either setting it in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for five to ten minutes, or simply place it in the toaster oven on reheat. Using those methods, it won’t dry up or harden, instead it will come out perfectly moist, with a gooey chocolate interior.
Ingredients – Tips, Notes, Tricks
1) The Candy. The real ‘treat’ of today’s ‘Candy Stuffed French Toast,’ is of course the ‘candy’ part of that equation. While I’m using chunks of plain milk chocolate, the beauty is that you can feel free to use virtually any of your favorite Halloween candy, and really become creative doing so. Caramel chocolates, nougat, and chocolate covered brittle or chocolate malt would all work excellently to add layers of complexity and flavors. Again, experiment with your favorite Halloween candy to your heart’s content – and let me know below how it turns out for you!
2) Toasted Pecans. Pecans pair excellently with caramel and anything ‘buttery’ – making them the natural choice for today’s recipe. Also, pecans develop a richer, more intense version of their ‘raw’ flavor during roasting, while gaining a brittle and crunchy texture – they also have a very high ‘burn’ threshold, meaning they can be roasted beforehand, and then added to something like today’s recipe with very little fear that they’re ‘scorch.’ This is in stark contrast to something like a walnut, which has a very low tolerance for burning, which is why they’re often added raw to things like cakes and cookies. Walnuts also, by contrast, develop a milder, buttery flavor and texture during roasting – which would be less than ideal for today’s recipe. But again, feel free to experiment.
3) Caramel Sauce. We’re making our caramel sauce for today’s recipe – and there’s no need to be intimidated at the idea of doing so. Pro-tip, if you can make ‘simple syrup,’ you can make caramel. Simple syrup is a one-to-one dissolution of sugar and water, whereas caramel follows the same process, but swaps water for cream and white sugar for brown, with the addition of butter and vanilla. Simple.
4) The Bread. Obviously, the bread is the most important ingredient in today’s recipe, and so using the right bread is paramount. What we’re looking for is a bread that’s ‘workable,’ meaning we want one that won’t fall apart while we stuff it with chocolate, and that will maintain its shape during cooking and then serving. We also want a bread that has a flavor that’s conducive not only to the ‘sweet’ of the caramel and the chocolate, but also to the savory or ‘earthy’ notes of the toasted pecans. In other words, we’re looking for a versatile, high-quality, flavorful bread.
5) King’s Hawaiian Original Dinner Rolls. The perfect bread for today’s recipe. These delectable little rolls are super moist right out of the package, and feature a melt-in-your mouth texture, coupled with a buttery sweet flavor. Naturally, that makes them a perfect fit for today’s recipe. As a plus, they’re also just the right size, as you can see from the pictures, with each roll being the perfect serving size for today’s stuffed French toast. Of course, these rolls are also simply delicious on their own, whether topping them with gravy, or using them as the rolls for sliders, or simply just spreading on some warmed butter. For more information, or to order some rolls, check them out over at https://www.kingshawaiian.com/.
Chocolate Stuffed French Toast Casserole with Homemade Caramel Sauce
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 9 Kings Hawaiian Rolls
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted plus more for buttering the casserole dish
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Individual chocolate candies
- Toasted Pecans, chopped
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
For the Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Butter a small 8-inch casserole dish and sprinkle the bottom of the dish with 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
- Take each King’s Hawaiian Roll and stuff each roll with an individual chocolate candy (mini Halloween candies will work perfectly for this).
- Fit the rolls into your casserole dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, butter, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the batter over the rolls and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Let sit for at least 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator covered or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and bake your french toast casserole covered for 30 minutes. Uncover the casserole and return to the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Drizzle with homemade caramel sauce and dust with powdered sugar.
For the Caramel Sauce:
- In a small saucepan, bring whisk sugar, cream, butter, and salt over medium low heat and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cook for about 10 minutes until the caramel begins to thicken. *Tip: brush the sides of the saucepan with water to keep the caramel from crystallizing along the edge.
- Once the caramel begins to bubble, add the vanilla and keep whisking for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is bubbling. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before transferring to a jar.
- Serve over French toast, pancakes, ice cream, cakes, etc. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Prep Time does NOT include Inactive Prep Time
- Serving Size: 1
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