Wake up, smell the dessert with creme brûlée French toast

Photo by: ilovememphis via Flickr.
Photo by: ilovememphis via Flickr.
Photo by: ilovememphis via Flickr.

The slogan “if you have a good breakfast, you will have a good day” proves itself to be true in the case of Creme Brûlée French Toast. The sweet dish is the perfect way to ease into your day, until the last bite is gone and you have to move on with the rest of your morning; and trust me, the last bite will be gone.

The first time I heard of this innovative dish, I couldn’t wrap my head around combining a classic breakfast dish with a post-dinner dessert, but somehow the two make a winning partnership. Just thinking about the vanilla custard filling and crunchy caramelized coat will leave you craving this inventive breakfast recipe at any hour of the day.

As this dish takes original French toast to a whole other level, it requires a few steps that go beyond the traditional dip-bread-into-egg-batter regime. The secret to creme brûlée French toast is in its extensive preparation, specifically soaking the bread in homemade custard the night before to guarantee perfectly saturated slices. The more damp and saturated the bread is, the easier it will be to transport within the baking pan.

The creme brûlée aspect of this recipe comes to life in the form of a vanilla custard which replaces the traditional French toast batter. The custard for the bread is requires eggs, milk, cream, rum, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. In a bowl, combine these ingredients together and distribute the slices of bread onto a baking sheet (11 by 17 inches). Pour the mix over the bread, making sure that each slice is completely covered before covering the pan with plastic wrap and letting it soak overnight in the refrigerator.

It’s important to leave enough time in the morning to not only prepare this recipe, but also be able to enjoy it. Unlike classic French toast, which cooks quickly over a frying pan, this edition is a bit more timely due to the fact that it is baked in an oven.

After soaking the bread overnight, be careful not to break up the completely soaked slices as you move them to a baking pan and sprinkle the slices with brown sugar. At the same time, you may want to sizzle up some bacon to accompany the caramel flavor with savory salty strips of bacon.

Before baking, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. At the same time, whisk together brown sugar and butter and pour this combination onto an additional baking sheet which will bake alongside the bread. If necessary, use a spatula to spread this mixture so that it cooks as an even layer. The bread will bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of each slice appear to be a golden-brown and the separate sugar mix begins to bubble.

To ensure the richest texture for your bread, you may want to add in additional egg yolks and cream along with supplementary spices and sugars. Many people choose to cook their french toast with challah bread or a sliced baguette and unlike most circumstances,  you will not need to worry about the bread being slightly stale (in fact, this helps to maximize the absorption.)

Finally, it is time to serve your masterpiece. Coat the slices of baked bread with your crunchy sugar concoction and the brown sugar side facing up. For those with a severe sweet tooth, maple syrup can be provided on the side, though many fans of this recipe will contest to the fact that it is just as tasty on its own.


The Ingredients

5 large eggs plus 2 yolks (or 6 whole eggs)
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 loaf bread
1 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

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