The Easter holiday has just gone by and similar to many parts of the world, Easter holds a unique tradition in the Italian culture. Just like many holidays food plays a key part in the various cultures and festivities. Here in Italy, there is two traditional centrepiece food item that is used to celebrate the Easter holiday. Firstly, the Italian Easter bread (Pane di Pasqua) is baked in the shape of a wreath with colourful eggs placed on it. Then there is the Italian Easter bread (‘Colomba di Pasqua or ‘Colomna Pasquale) which is a culinary symbol in the shape of a dove. The latter is my favourite, hence this recipe for French toast made with Colomba di Pasqua.
This dove-shaped treat is a soft doughy cake that is rich with a bread-like chewy texture. My initial encounter with the Colomba had me wondering “is it a cake or is it bread”. Upon further studies, it draws techniques from both cake making and bread making. However, the conclusion is that it is indeed a cake. It looks like a cake. smells like a cake and although the texture can be a bit deceiving, it also tastes like a cake but not too sweet. Additionally, the Italians say it is a cake so that’s what I’m sticking with.
French toast made with colomba di pasqua
As with many holidays, we humans tend to take the Easter holiday as an excuse to overindulge. This sometimes leads to us having in excess several food items or one in particular. You guessed it! For the Easter holiday, there are always leftover Colomba. We usually start buying these festive treats days and weeks as we approach the holiday. I bought my Colomba a week before Easter, the cake can last for several days but if you are anything like me you’ll get bored. Hence why I whipped up this delicious French toast made with Colomba di Pasqua. I kept it simple, with no added sugar and topped with fresh strawberries and melted chocolate.
French toast with strawberries and chocolate using Italian Easter Cake
- 2 slices Italian Easter Cake (Colomba di Pasqua)
- 100 ml Whole milk
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- a knob of Butter
- 3 Strawberries (or as much as you want)
For the melted chocolate
- 50 g Dark Chocolate
- 1 tbsp Whole milk
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease a baking dish with butter.
- Break the eggs into a bowl, add milk and cinnamon then whisk together.
- a slice of Colomba di Pasqua into the egg mixture, carefully flip to the other side making sure the slice is fully soaked. Lift and allow excess liquid to drip, then transfer into the greased baking dish. Repeat for the other slice.
- Break up a few pieces of butter on top of each slice, then place the dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Onced baked, remove from oven and place the french toast unto a flat plate.
For the melted chocolate
- Chop the chocolate bar and place it in a small bowl with the milk. Heat in a microwave at 20 minutes intervals, continually stirring until each piece of chocolate is melted and you have a creamy consistency.
Plating the French toast
- Slice and place the strawberries and place them on top of the french toast
- Drizzle the melted chocolate, then roughly chop some almonds and place them on top.