Crème Brûlée French Toast

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So I found this wonderful recipe at smitten kitchen a few months ago and I’ve been dying to try it out. So when Pat and I were in Paris with our own little apartment for a few days, I was thrilled to get the chance to make this wonderful brunch plate. While Smitten kitchen’s looks so much nicer and I know challah bread is supposed to be “the go-to” bread for french toast, I was unable to find it in the grocery store nearest to us, so I did what I usually do. I improvised. Since I had prepared for this recipe, I actually did something I had never done before. I soaked the french toast overnight and honestly? I think it makes it a little better, but of course if you just realize in the morning that you absolutely must have french toast, well then it’s not a big deal to make the batter (is it batter? I feel like batter would be too thick, but marinade doesn’t really fit either) and soak the bread until it’s all gone. Now this french toast sounds really complicated, but trust me. It was so surprisingly easy. It’s just like making regular french toast, you just has a nice caramelized sugar crust on it and it’s definitely the french toast to make if you’ve run out of maple syrup.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 loaf of unsliced bread (of your choice)
-1 1/3 cup of whole milk
-4 eggs
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
Now smitten kitchen added: 2/3 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp grand marnier. I however, took my mom’s french toast recipe (just milk, eggs, vanilla) and went with it.
Sugar syrup:
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-a little bit of water

Again, smitten kitchen said that you don’t need water (I will try this next time) but if you’re a little worried, a little water won’t hurt.

Directions:

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  1. Slice the bread, set it aside. Mix together the eggs, milk and the vanilla in a measuring cup or right into a rimmed dish that will fit all the slices of bread in one layer. Pour the mixture over the slices and let the bread soak up the mixture. If you’re leaving them to soak overnight, cover the dish and place in the fridge. If you’re making french toast that very morning, let  the bread soak for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway. 
  2. Now I just went with the old way of making french toast: buttering a nice big frying pan and placing the slices of toast on the pan, flipping them until they were well cooked.IMG_1965
  3. However Smitten Kitchen used a method that I’m now dying to try: she baked them. In this case, you’ll need to transfer the slices of bread onto a parchment lined  sheet pan/roasting pan with some space in between. Preheat the oven to 325. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes or until a slim knife inserted in the center of one of the slices and twisted a little doesn’t release wet custard.
  4. Once the toast is almost done baking or just before you eat the french toast, it’s time to prepare the sugar syrup. All you need is a pot. Add a little water to the pot (or not) and the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the sugar mixture reaches a amber, honey color, remove from heat and, working fast, spread the melted sugar evenly onto each of the slices. If you are a little worried about burning the sugar, you can always sprinkle the sugar on top of the french toast and torch it under the broiler until the sugar caramelizes.

Over all this french toast was delicious and it went as successfully as I’d hoped. I’ll definitely be making these again and next time, I’ll be sure to buy some fruits (like bananas, raspberries, strawberries) as garnish!

Hugs and Puppies!

Mimi

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