Creme Brulee French Toast Casserole

by Shawnda on July 25, 2010

in Bread,Breakfast,Lighter & Healthier,Project Pastry Queen

The Foodie Groom picked this week’s recipe for Project Pastry Queen: Creme Brulee French Toast. He saw a delicious mound of carbs for dinner. I saw an excuse to play with fire. And bake a loaf of challah.

I try to put one breakfast-for-dinner night on the menu each week. Pancakes are cheap. And my husband can – and will – make them. As much as I like to cook, it’s nice to sit at the island in awe at how he gets almost nothing dirty when he cooks. I should take notes.

I’m really not a fan of breakfast casserole type dishes. Everything cooked together in a big dish isn’t very appetizing. Nor is it very pretty. But this dish is no ordinary breakfast casserole. It’s part french toast and part bread pudding. It’s topped with sugar and fired to a glassy finish… and because I’m not very practiced with my torch, a sometimes charred finish. Pyro mis-steps can be easily hidden with fire-sale strawberries or peaches. Throw in a springform pan and it’s even pretty enough to serve at brunch.

Creme Brulee French Toast Casserole

A prettier french toast casserole with a brulee topping.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf challah bread
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter and set aside.
  2. Cut challah into 1-inch cubes (If you can do this part ahead of time, leave the bread cubes on a baking sheet to dry for a while).
  3. Place cubes in a large bowl. Whisk egg yolks, half and half, 2 Tbsp sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until well combined and pour over bread. Toss until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and lightly press down on the bread to spread evenly. Let sit while oven preheats. (Alternately, you can cover and refrigerate overnight, if desired.)
  5. Preheat oven to 325.
  6. Bake the french toast casserole for 25-30 minutes, until browned.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the rim.
  8. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar over the top and with a kitchen torch or broiler, cook until the sugar is liquified and brown (this works better with a torch than a broiler).
  9. Let sit until sugar hardens.
  10. Cut into 6-8 wedges and serve warm, with fresh fruit and maple syrup.

Notes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 358.5 | Fat: 15.7 | Fiber 1.6
WW Points: 8

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