It had been quite a while since my last breakfast extravaganza, so the result was doubly enjoyable when, by accident, I happened to prepare a delicatessen that was enjoyed by the ancient Romans.
Breakfast has always had a special spot in my heart and stomach. Even when working as a pastry chef, I actually preferred starting my day with a breakfast shift. An hour’s silence in the kitchen, just me and my pint of coffee, scones rising in the oven, bread dough on the go… before the madness that is feeding the guests would commence. And then, suddenly, some 15 hours later, you realise that the day has gone past again, almost in the blink of an eye.
Nowadays, I relish my decadent mornings as a freelancer without a guilty consciousness – I have served my time! I love stacks of pancakes, I love scones, the plain ones, with jam and cream, and I love grapefruit with brown sugar and cold smoked salmon on rye vita, which my Brazilian spouse finds a bit weird item found on the breakfast table.
So I decided to make something for him. And that something was going to be rabanada.
Rabanada is a Brazilian version of French toast, and a treat enjoyed on Christmas. But I’ve never felt any need to restrict any food for any specific date, so rabanada it was going to be.
Or, almost rabanada. As it was early morning, and my coffee intake hadn’t peaked yet, I forgot to dip the slices of bread in the egg before frying. But as it turned out, this was the way the ancient Romans enjoyed their aliter dulcia! And it was a great success!
So either way, rabanada or aliter dulcia, this is a delicious variation of the more common French toast for your breakfast tables, enjoy!
Rabanada (c. 8 slices)
3 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Use white bread, baguette or similar. You can cut the slices ready the evening before and leave them on the table to dry out a little bit.
Boil the milk and the sugar and then add the cinnamon stick. Leave to boil for a few minutes.
After the milk mix has cooled down, spread the bread slices in a shallow dish and pour the milk over them.
Leave to soak for 20–30 minutes.
If you wish to make rabanada and not aliter dulcia, dip the bread slices in a couple of whisked eggs and then fry. The idea is to get a golden brown, crisp crust to the bread so you need to have the pan hot for frying.
When rabanada is ready, sprinkle some more sugar and cinnamon on top of them.
As said this is a typical Christmas treat in Brazil, and best enjoyed straight from the fridge day after preparing. However, in my opinion rabanada makes a delicious breakfast for any day and is best served with strong Brazilian coffee.