1 hr, plus soaking time
Makes:4 to 6 servings
Rabanada usually makes an appearance on the Brazilian breakfast table around Christmastime, but it’s so delicious we whip it up all year long. Most recipes call for the bread to be soaked briefly, fried, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Our version sits overnight before frying to allow the custard to really soak in. Then, like a churro, we completely cover it in a cinnamon-cocoa-sugar mixture. Team this with our Marinated Mango or Grapefruit Spike, and you’re set for Sunday brunch.
What to buy: Use unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe.
We prefer the custardy texture that results from using a narrow (about 2 inches wide) baguette rather than a thicker one; however any size baguette will work.
Game plan: Frying the bread for 8 to 10 minutes makes for a crispy outside and a custardy interior, but go ahead and adjust the cooking time to your French toast preferences.
Cut baguette on the bias into 1-inch-thick slices (you should have about 16 slices).
Place eggs, condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Pour mixture into a shallow dish that will snugly hold all of the bread (such as a glass baking dish or a large pie plate) and add baguette slices. Turn slices to coat well in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until egg mixture is almost completely absorbed, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Place sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix until evenly distributed; set aside.
When the bread has finished soaking, fill a medium pot with oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 330°F on a deep-fat thermometer. Place reserved cinnamon-cocoa mixture on a plate and set aside. Line another plate with paper towels and set aside.
Remove bread slices from the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Place 4 to 6 pieces of bread in the hot oil (being sure not to overcrowd the pot). Fry until bread slices are dark golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. (You’ll want the oil to maintain a temperature of 325°F while the bread is frying; adjust the heat as necessary to achieve this.) Flip and fry another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
While still hot, dredge French toast in the cinnamon-cocoa mixture and shake off any excess. Repeat the frying process with the remaining bread slices and serve.