This fantastic brunch recipe is full of rich, delectable, calorie-laden ingredients like egg yolks and heavy cream.
You can make it the night before. (In fact, it's best that way.)
Serve it with fresh fruit and a pair of running shoes...
In the photos that follow, please note that I did the following: 1) used French bread, and 2) halved the recipe.
Separate the egg yolks...
Add in the heavy cream
(I used half-and-half here...).
And add the sugar,
(This is an unrefined sugar, which is why it looks like brown sugar...)
a lot of delicious vanilla extract,
Add a quarter of the cubed loaf of bread to a greased casserole dish.
Pour a quarter of the cream mixture over the bread,
and press down with a spoon to really get the liquid absorbed into the bread.
Repeat and continue to alternate the bread cubes and liquid and spoon-pressing.
Bake in a "water bath"* at 325 for an hour and a half until set in the center and light brown.
When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar and caramelize it
with 1) the broiler, or 2) a kitchen torch.
Creme Brulee French Toast
Serves 8 to 10
1 large loaf of challah bread (I substituted French bread)
8 large egg yolks
4 cups heavy whipping cream (or half-and-half)
3/4 cup plus 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Grease a 2 1/2-quart oven-safe casserole or souffle dish. Slice the bread into half-inch slices, then into cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream. 3/4 cup sugar, salt, vanilla, and butter.
Put a quarter of the bread cubes in the casserole dish. Pour enough of the cream mixture to cover the bread. Using a spoon, press the cream mixture into the bread so that it is thoroughly soaked. Continue layering in the same way until all the bread is soaked with the cream mixture. Cover the casserole tightly with foil and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put the casserole in a larger baking pan and set it in the oven. *To make a water bath, pour enough boiling water into the larger pan to reach halfway up the sides of the casserole. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the top is light brown and set. (This baking time corresponds to the 8 to 10 servings. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour if you halve the recipe.)
Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar over the top in an even layer. Use a broiler on high (set the casserole just a few inches from the heat source) or a kitchen torch to cook the topping until the sugar becomes brown and liquefies. (It will harden as it cools.)
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cute idea: To make individual servings, layer the bread and cream mixtures in 8 to 10 greased ramekins. Bake as directed for 1 hour and caramelize the sugar topping.