French Toast Meets Almond Croissant With This Delectable Chocolatey Pastry

A recipe for a chocolatey pastry treat, excerpted from the cookbook The Lemon Apron Cookbook, by Jennifer Emilson

Think of this little “pastry” as a cross between French toast and an almond croissant. You can easily make these with store-bought brioche or challah. But it’s also the perfect use for those few stale slices of homemade loaf sitting around. The slices are brushed with a simple syrup or a thinned-out jam or jelly. Topped with a layer of chestnut spread, chocolate, and sliced almonds, this bakes until the frangipane puffs up and the nuts are golden brown. Add a mug of steaming café au lait, and you have a perfect brunch.

Crème de Marrons and Chocolate Bostock

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Simple Syrup

  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 5–6 dashes chocolate bitters


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1 egg, at room temperature 3 Tbsp flour
  • ⅔ cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp crème de marrons (sweetened chestnut spread—not unsweetened chestnut purée!)


  • 4–8 slices thick-cut, day-old, slightly stale brioche
  • ¼ cup shaved dark chocolate
  • ½ cup sliced almonds Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


For the Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with ⅓ cup water. Bring to a boil, without stirring, over medium heat, drop the heat to low, and cook until the sugar mixture has completely melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate bitters. Let cool.

For the Frangipane
Using a bowl and a wooden spoon or handheld mixer, mix the sugar and butter until combined, creamy, and almost fluffy. Add the egg and continue to mix thoroughly until smooth. Add the flour and almonds and mix to combine. Add the salt and then the crème de marrons, and mix until totally creamy. (This can be made the night before and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Just bring it back to room temperature and stir before using.)

For the Bostock
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a pastry brush, spread half of the simple syrup over one side of each slice of brioche. Turn each slice over and spread with the remaining syrup. Using an offset spatula, spread about a ¼-inch layer of the frangipane over the top of the bread, going right to the edges. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate shavings over top and scatter the sliced almonds over the chocolate.

Lay the brioche on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack of the oven until golden brown and crisp on the outside, 15 to 20 minutes. The nuts should be fragrant and burnished, but not scorched. Let cool for 5 minutes before dusting with icing sugar, if desired. Enjoy!

The Lemon Apron Cookbook

Excerpted from The Lemon Apron Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes for the Curious Home Cook by Jennifer Emilson. Copyright © 2022Jeniffer Emilson.Cover and interior design by Lisa Jager. Cover and interior photography by Johann Headley. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Next: Here’s the Chicken and Zucchini Soup You’ll Be Making All Season