Chef Francois Payard’s Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu “Decadent French Toast”

Mother’s Day is around the corner and we have a spectacular creation for you to whip up for mom. James Beard Award winning pastry chef, Francois Payard’s world-famous Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu or “Decadent French Toast”. This sinful masterpiece is a counterpoint to American-style French Toast, and Payard’s version is more of a sandwich with a chocolate chip filling, topped with sauteed bananas and whipped cream.

What we love most about this recipe is that brunch can be made ahead of time by freezing the sandwiches overnight (once assembled and soaked thoroughly), and baked for 10 minutes before serving.


Chef Francois Payard's Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Special Equipment: strainer, nonstick fry pan

Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu
Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu Custard:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 each vanilla bean or 3 Tbs. extract
  1. Whisk the eggs, cocoa, and yolks by hand in a bowl and add sugar, milk (add the milk ½ at a time to avoid lumps) and the vanilla bean.

Sautéed Bananas (optional):

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 bananas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Meyers Rum
  1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Add the bananas and sauté while adding the sugar. Pour in the rum and flambé.


  • Brioche slices – cut each loaf into 8 pieces – 1/2” thick slices
  • 1 cup   chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs.  Honey
  • 4 Tbs.  Butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Dip the two brioche slices for each dessert. Soak each slice in the custard for 1 minute and use the two pieces to make a sandwich and sprinkle about 1 Tbs. chocolate chips in between two of the slices.  Press the two slices together. Freeze solid.
  2. Heat the butter in a sauté pan. When the butter has almost reached the brown butter stage, add the honey. Take the frozen brioche slices and cook each side, making sure that they take a good color. Remove from the pan and place on a sheet tray with parchment paper and repeat as necessary, cleaning the pan each time.
  3. When all pieces are cooked, place in the preheated oven and bake for approx. 10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Set aside the brioche and re warm in the oven before serving. Place the re-warmed brioche on a plate. Sautee the bananas and place over brioche. Dust them with powdered sugar.

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