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Recipe: Creme Brulee French Toast


Easter came around again, so I decided to suggest the family get together again for brunch. I didn't want to simply reproduce the previous years dish, but instead I wanted to build on it and add my own flair to a new dish. I was browsing through food network and saw a recipe for a the Creme Brulee French Toast. It sounded great, so I had to make it.




As it should be noted I am a HUGE fan of french toast. I mean, if I had been able to come up with a snazzy name for this blog that included the words French and Toast I would have. But alas, I was not so clever and settled on "The Breakfast Menu." I am not sure if it is the egg flavor or the vanilla but there is something very primal about my connection to French toast.

I made several changes to the recipe, as there were issues with the availability of the ingredients. I encourage changing the recipe to suit your tastes. The recipe calls for Challah french toast, which I used last year, but I decided to instead use Texas toast. This was mostly (read: only) because Texas Toast was on sale at my grocery for a dollar a loaf. Challah tends to be expensive for a single use item and times are hard.

The dish turned out incredibly well. It was flavored much more like a bread pudding than a French toast but the flavor was robust and dynamic. I absolutely loved it and there was very little of it left after the meal. Everyone that tried it said it was great. I drizzled maple syrup over the whole dish and it was sweet enough that it didn't need to add any additional.


One major change I made was the addition of blueberries. I thought it would be a tasty addition. There used to be a dessert called the blueberry stack at a restaurant called the Rusty Bucket. It was like a marriage of bread pudding, and blueberry pancakes. Unfortunately they took it off the menu and it is no longer available. As a result my wife and I have been trying to figure out how to duplicate the flavor. I thought about that flavor as I added the frozen blueberries. In order to get their flavor I pureed half the batch and added it to the blueberry mix. One mistake I made was I should have strained out the blueberry seeds. When you look at my dish it has a burnt look to it. that is actually the blueberry skins and seeds that didn't seep into the bread and was darkened by the oven.

First you are to melt a stick of butter into a pan and add the 1 packed down cup of brown sugar. This went easy enough. It was like a caramel consistency as I poured it into the baking pan. 
Once the brown sugar and butter mixture is in the pan you layer in your slices of bread. I should warn you here: do not remove the pieces of bread. They sit down in the butter and stick to the mixture. If, for whatever reason, you make the mistake I made and lift one of the pieces of bread you would get a wierd piece of bread that wont stick to the bottom and will float when you go to cook it. It also messes up the consistency of the brown sugar/butter floor of the dish.
into the bowl I beat four full eggs and two additional egg yolks. I used 1 cup of heavy cream, and half a cup of milk (the recipe called for half and half). I took out the Grand Marnier because my wife is pregnant and I didn't want to take any chances. I added 2 teaspoons of vanilla, a teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a cup of blended blueberries. It gave the dish a blueberry hue, which was interesting and actually worried me at the time. I also added a dash of lemon juice. I can't remember why but it didn't seem to make much a difference.
I poured the mix over the bread. I tried to make sure it was poured evenly over each piece.
It smelled wonderful. I forgot to say that I added whole blueberries to the mix for them to be part of the final dish.


The dish went into the fridge. Forgive the stains, as I was clearing the bottom shelf I discovered that a jar of banana peppers had spilled. It was late so I decided I would handle it in the morning.

8 hours later...
Notice the curiously raised corner piece that sits of evidence of my curiosity of lifting that piece. The mixture settled overnight into the pieces. This is when I realized I should have strained out the skins and seeds as it colored each slice.
Into the oven it goes at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
This is how it looked when it came out. It was fluffed like a pastry at first but it fell as it cooled.
It looked delicious. I drizzled maple syrup over the whole dish and prepared it for the travel to my sister's house.
It was a little darker than I planned. and at first people asked what it was when I unveiled it at the brunch. here it is at the table waiting to be eaten.
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It looked great on the plate and tasted wonderful. It was sweet and none of the various additions overpowered the taste. I would have rather it didn't have the dark appearance. The photo from the site had a more golden appearance. I would also have rather it didn't fall when I took it out of the oven but instead maintained some of its fluff. In spite of all that it came out very well and everyone liked it. 


The Verdict:
Overall I give this recipe a 5 out of 5 broken eggs.






Creme Brulee French Toast

Recipe courtesy Courtney Weiner
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
8 hr 
Cook Time:
40 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

Directions

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Cut 6 (1-inch) thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bring bread mixture to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

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