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A smell of caramel that teases our nostrils and comforts us. A blend of flavors between orange blossom and pistachios. A variation of textures, hot and cold: that’s the magic of French toast. A magic that Rebecca Rohmer knew how to capture and sublimate, who made it her specialty. Zoom in on this deliciously regressive pleasure that the chef makes us rediscover.

Rebecca Rohmer describes her cooking as “generous, greedy and not good for the diet” especially with its French toast, one of its specialties. Former chef of the Rivk’a restaurant which closed on December 15, the young woman now aims to open a new address. If the name will remain the same and the identity too, nevertheless some changes will be made: “The idea is to make exactly the same cuisine but in a breakfast, lunch and snack version. It will be more focused on brunch and the establishment will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a neighborhood that is very busy in the center of Paris. she tells us.

The opportunity for her to honor her Madeleine de Proust, this recipe which undoubtedly contributed to her fame: French toast. Already on Rivk’a’s menu before its closure, the recipe has become a must-have for its customers.

When she launched her restaurant in 2019, the chef decided to create an Israeli-Asian-inspired menu. For dessert ? Among a few options, customers discovered French toast. Quickly, this recipe stole the show from the others and became THE essential dessert in Rebecca’s restaurant: “It’s really the only dessert I know how to make because baking and me make a billion. It worked so well that in the end I said to myself: “I’m just going to use French toast and make variations”. Gradually, people called to ask if they could come and eat just the French toast. I understood that it was a reliable source”.

Sexy and mouth-watering, her French toast is the definition of “foodporn” in its purest form. Rebecca’s French toast is an invitation to let go and for good reason: as beautiful as they are delicious, these almost XXL French toast tantalize our eyes as much as our taste buds. The chef was able to reinvent a classic that was sometimes a bit boring. From a slice of bread dipped in a mixture of milk and egg then cooked, the chef made a delicious and enormous piece of brioche, well caramelized and enhanced with toppings that are off the beaten track. A huge dessert that doesn’t leave us hungry.

It was during her apprenticeship with one of the greatest French chefs that the chef fell in love with this dessert: “It’s at Yannick Alléno’s in his brasserie, he offered a big, generous brioche. And it had an impact on me. Even if the recipe was classic: big brioche, vanilla ice cream”. The key to this striking dessert? Generosity ! “The dessert was big, it was voluminous. That’s what I love, having a big dessert even if you don’t finish it completely. It’s very satisfying for morale.”

Rebecca therefore wanted to start from this memory to also offer a delicious and memorable French toast: “It’s true that in most restaurants, you have a dessert and it is very small in three bites it’s finished and I find it super frustrating at the end of the meal to have such a dessert for 14 euros. So I told myself that I was going to make huge and generous French toast”.

For her this is the recipe for her success: “If it hadn’t been so much, I think there wouldn’t have been the same effect. When we put the dessert in front of the customers, they look at us and say “Wow”. They are really big and comforting. But it’s not something that sticks in your stomach or is cloying or too sweet.”

Generosity aside, to make good French toast it is important to have good brioche, lots of butter and conversely little sugar. However, the secret to making it perfect remains cooking: “You need slow cooking. This is one of the desserts that are made on the spot. It takes a total of 15 minutes of cooking time for each French toast.

To make it best at home, the chef shared her recipe with us.

For the brioche, you will need:

  • 350g flour
  • 150ml lukewarm milk
  • 120g butter at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 for gilding
  • 80g of sugar
  • 12g fresh yeast
  • 1 cc de sel

For soaking, you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 L of soy milk
  • Butter

  1. Preparation sidestart by dissolving the yeast in a little lukewarm milk.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, pour the flour, sugar, butter, the two egg yolks, the milk and the milk+yeast mixture. Start kneading for a minute then add the salt.
  3. Form a ball, cover with a damp cloth then leave to rise until the dough doubles in volume.
  4. Degas the dough, cut it into 8 equal parts, form small balls to place in a cake mold. Leave to rise for 30 minutes in the cold oven.
  5. Remove the brioche from the oven then pre-heat it to 180°C.
  6. Brown the top of the brioche with the egg yolk then bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Leave to cool then unmold.
  7. Cut a piece of thick brioche. Soak it in a milk/egg mixture
  8. In a pan, melt a generous piece of butter with a little sugar. Add the soaked portion of brioche and caramelize it until it becomes nicely caramelized.

Flavor-wise, it’s up to you to vary the pleasures. Rebecca favors orange blossom, orange zest, cinnamon or even yuzu but you can do whatever you like. Know that you can even try a savory version!

We are impatiently awaiting the opening of “Riv’ka 2 version pain perdu” which cannot be delayed.


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