Is it the weekend yet" I’m ready for Sunday brunch! This might be the most over engineered baked french toast recipe on earth, but it also elicits comments like: “This is the best I’ve ever had”. The extra steps aren’t really that much more time consuming and if you choose to skip them, I completely understand (and I will point out the shortcuts) but as is, the result is custard-y French toast with a buttery crispy outer coating.
Baked French Toast with Orange Blossom Maple Syrup
Instead of just mixing the half-half and eggs together, I make a crème anglaise base (with whole eggs instead of just yolks) which gives the soaked bread a silkier, creamier, fluffier texture when baked. Heat the half-half up to a simmer adding the green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, scraped vanilla bean, and orange zest. Let the mixture infuse and cool a little and then whisk it into the beaten eggs ? tempering the eggs first with just a scosh of warm milk and whisking the remaining in a steady stream. I pour the crème anglaise base over the thick-cut bread,which is normally challah or brioche, and let everything soak for an hour or two.
Bake the bread in a single layer covered with foil until it’s poofy and golden brown on the bottom. Then remove and fry the top un-browned side in foamy butter on the stove top right before serving ? this last step you can take or leave. I really like the buttery crispy addition, because let’s face it, butter is better with everything! But if time doesn’t permit, just remove the foil after ten minutes so the top browns too. Or skip the baking and fry in butter on the stove top ? although it won’t be as custardy inside.
Orange Blossom Maple Syrup over French Toast
My dear friend Chef Ivan Shaw (check his blog out! I’m addicted to the great stories and recipes.) and his beautiful wife Nadine sent me and my husband a very special Christmas gift all the way from Canada. We received 8 c...