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Fantastic Recipe for Creme’ Brulee French Toast

As I was doing my research for a fantastic Valentine’s breakfast that my guests would never forget (that is always the goal, whether or not I accomplish that is another story), I found a recipe for Creme’ Brulee French Toast.  When you go to a Bed & Breakfast you would expect to see French Toast on the menu.  I constantly challenge myself to provide my guests with a breakfast they would not cook for themselves or something different than what they would order when they go to their favorite restaurant for breakfast.  So, if I am going to make French toast, it had better be something pretty spectacular.  I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com I thought would be good.  My, oh, my, let me tell you, good is an understatement!  You know I always say a clean plate is the best compliment an innkeeper could ever ask for, and I had clean plates across the board.  I like this recipe because you prep the night before and then pop it in the oven the next morning.  I served with pork sausage links we buy from the butcher in Chippewa Falls, along with a locally made maple syrup to drizzle over the French toast, and, because it was Valentine’s weekend, chocolate covered strawberries.

Gather the following ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter                      1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup packed brown sugar                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbs corn syrup                                1 teaspoon brandy-based orange liqueur
6 1-inch thick slices French bread        1/4 tsp salt
5 eggs

Melt butter in a small saucepan, mix in brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish.

The recipe says to remove the bread crust, I did not do this and found the presentation to be just as beautiful as posted on the allrecipes.com website.  Also, I did not use Grand Marnier® as recommended in the recipe.  I went to the local liquor store and purchased an airline sized bottle of a brandy-based orange liqueur. While Grand Marnier® is delicious, and I am sure substitutes are just that, substitutes, there are plenty of things going on in this recipe, so I felt the real deal was not missed. Since the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon, I did not see much reason to invest in a large bottle of liqueur.  There are purists who feel there is no substitute for Grand Marnier®, so if you don’t want to make a sizeable investment in the large bottle, look for the airplane size bottle of Grand Marnier®.

Remove crusts from bread, and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, orange brandy, and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover, and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the dish from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.

Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffed and lightly browned.

I know your friends and family will enjoy this recipe as much as we did at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast.  You could save it for a special occasion, such as a birthday or holiday celebration.  Or, sometimes just getting the entire family together at the same time to the breakfast table is reason enough to celebrate.  I am willing to bet if they know you are serving Creme’ Brulee French Toast, they will be seated anxiously waiting for you to serve breakfast.  And who knows, you may start a new family tradition.

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