Crème Brulee French Toast

All of a sudden, I’m on this bread pudding/sweet breakfast kick.  The funny thing is, I don’t even normally eat this stuff, so I don’t know what’s going on!  Even though I’m baking a lot of it, I don’t seem to be eating it, just sharing it whenever I can.  I thing it’s just the whole baking aspect I’m enjoying.  I forgot how much I love baking, and I’m gravitating towards some easier things for now.  I like stuff I can throw together quickly, usually while Aaron naps!

This is no exception.  It’s easy and fabulous.  A family friend made this all of the time, and my mother in law asked for the recipe.  It comes for the July 1998 Gourmet magazine (R.I.P. Gourmet)  She has been making it for brunches and other “dairy” events and it’s always a hit.  Since I was hosting a playgroup the other morning, I thought it might be a perfect thing to make!

Another reason I love this recipe is that you can (and should) make it the day before, and then just bake it right before you serve.  I know when I’m hosting a brunch, I’m running around getting a ton done, and throwing food together, so it’s nice to have something that is tasty and looks good, with little preparation!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. rum extract (I just used vanilla)
  • 1 country style bread (I used a French bread)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

First things first.  Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Then, combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and rum extract/vanilla in a small saucepan.

Melt it all together, and pour it into your baking dish.

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Cut your bread into slices about 1 1/2 inches thick and arrange them in one layer in the pan on top of the butter mixture.  Squeeze them in so they fit (don’t use the end pieces).

Solomon did the cutting for me (oh yeah, I had a knife mishap and got 4 stitches!), and tried to get artistic with the pictures.  Cute, right?

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In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, Grand Marnier, vanilla and salt.

Pour this mixture evenly over the bread and cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Chill for at least 8 hours, and for up to one day. 

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This is what it looks like after sitting in the fridge for about 16 hours.  It absorbed all of the delicious egg mixture!
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Let the dish sit at room temperature for a half hour, then baked for 35-40 minutes in a 350* oven or until it is puffed and golden.

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For some odd reason I didn’t get a picture of a piece of it, so you can’t see the awesome, sugary bottom.  It’s good, trust me. 

What’s your favorite thing to bring to a brunch?  Are you a fan of sweet breakfast dishes, or do you prefer savory?


8 Responses

  1. This looks delicious! I usually bring hash browns of some kind but I’ve been wanting to do a french toast casserole of sorts so I am saving this recipe. I would love to make it at home for myself but not booty does not need that!

  2. Yum! I love sweets, but I can’t eat them for breakfast or earlier in the day. If I do invade a sugar crash. I also will crave sugar for the rest ofnthenday. We often do pancakes or waffles for dinner because then I can enjoy my favorite sugary breakfast foods 🙂

  3. I just love the autocorrect! “invade”???? Where did that come from?!

  4. Looks awesome. I love sweet for brunch, but I also like savory. I say sweet because first and foremost I want blintzes brunch. But I do like egg dishes too. Oh and bagels with lox.

  5. make this for me tomorrow?

  6. This looks amazing!! I love french toast…but this one is over the top…I must give it a try! Yummy!! 🙂

  7. I like I like sweet dishes better and this one sounds amazing. Also Eric loves creme brulee so I should really make it for him one morning 🙂

  8. Gave this recipe a try this past weekend with my parents and guests in town. It was a HUGE hit. Great recipe, Mo!

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