Filling slices of bread with a ricotta, cream cheese, and Diced Dried Plums takes French toast in a decadent direction. Grate orange zest over the top to complete the homage to Sicily’s famous dessert.
Yield: 4 servings
40 g / 3 tablespoons melted butter
4 thick slices challah or French bread
6 tablespoons ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
55 g / 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
70 g / 1/4 cup Diced Dried Plums
160 ml / 2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated orange zest (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat the bottom of a 23-by-33-cm / 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons butter.
Cut a large pocket in each bread slice without cutting all the way through.
In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, powdered sugar and cream cheese to make the filling. Spread equal amounts of the filling into each bread pocket and top with equal amounts of dried plums. Press the bread lightly to seal.
Whisk together cream, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a shallow dish. Dip each bread slice in the mixture, turning to coat both sides. Place in the buttered dish, overlapping slightly so that the rounded tops are raised a bit. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the top and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Let stand for 30 minutes or until egg mixture is absorbed by the bread, tipping the pan occasionally.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Place on 4 plates and sprinkle with chocolate chips and orange zest, if desired.