Rabanadas-tipsy slices

Rabanadas (pronounced ha-ba-nadas) are part of the Portuguese Christmas tradition.Not dissimilar to French toast, and made in exactly the same way,I don´t see why they should be reserved exclusively for Christmas, they´re a great perk-you-up on any cold wet winter morning for a cosy continental breakfast.Much like the French name, pain perdu (lost bread), the rabanada is usually made from bread that is about to go stale, thus the reason for soaking it in something such as milk to soften it up again. If you don´t have Portuguese bread, use a country style bread, ciabatta or baguette. The secret is it must be a tight crumbed bread that will stand up to the soaking and not fall apart.
They are normally served with cinnamon and  topped with a sugar syrup or honey. In the old days, the dessert was known as rabanada only in northern Portugal, while towards the south it was referred to as the patia-dourada (golden slice).In the Minho,Portugal´s most traditional region,where donkey and cart have still not given way to Toyota pick-up truck they use red or white wine in the soaking stage. In my version the alcohol element is incorporated into the syrup for topping the cooked rabanada.
Any port in the sauce?- Yes

1 large Egg
A few drops of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons caster sugar
125ml(4fl oz) 1/2 cup milk
125ml(4fl oz) 1/2 cup cream
2 x 8cm (3in)pieces of yesterdays bread, without crusts

1 small cinnamon stick
1 strip orange rind in one piece
1 strip lemon rind in one piece
2 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons port

2 tablespoons butter for frying
ground cinnamon for dusting

Whisk the egg, vanilla,sugar, milk and cream in a flat dish. add the bread, spoon the liquid over it, and leave to soak for an hour. Meanwhile make the syrup. Put the cinnamon, citrus rinds, sugar and 185 ml (6fl oz 3/4 cup )of water in a small pan, stir to dissolve the sugar and then bring to the boil. Boil for a few minutes, then add the port. Keep boiling until syrup like. Remove from the heat.
Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Remove the bread from the milky egg mixture and fry until the underside is golden. Turn over and cook until firm and golden with a slight crust.Serve immediately with some of the syrup dribbled over it and a sprinkling of cinnamon powder.


  1. These are called Torrijas in Spain and are sold in the panaderias at Easter but they are soaked in milk,sugar and eggs and then fried in olive oil and finally soaked in honey.

  2. yum yum yum!!!!!!!I could eat them anytime of the year


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