I acquired this recipe a few years back from a group of ladies that I met on a quilting retreat. We all took turns providing meals, and a few of the gals prepared this for our breakfast one morning. It's made with Challah bread, which I LOVE. I sometimes think about crashing Jewish festivities just so I can have a slice, but then I remember-you CAN buy this at the store, with a little less controversy. This dish is not as 'sweet' as the traditional french toast, it takes on a more eggy/buttery flavor. It's a really fun twist on an old classic, AND something you can make in advance-this is a good thing!
1. You start by melting 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 lb of unsalted butter, and 2 T. of Light Corn Syrup together. Pour this in the bottom of a buttered 9x13 pan.
I could stop right here and just lick this up....it's so good.
2. Take a loaf of challah bread, and slice it into 1 1/2 inch slices. Place these over the syrup mixture. Squeeze all the bread into the dish. You may need to cut the slices into smaller squares to fit them into the nooks and crannies of the dish.
This is really hard for me b/c it's at this point I want to lick the syrup, and gobble the bread, and I have no interest in squeezing little bread squares anywhere but down my throat.
3. Whisk together 5 eggs, 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3/4 c. milk, 1
t. vanilla, and 1/4 t. salt, and 2 t. Grand Marnier. Pour this over the challah bread. Cover the dish with Saran wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours/or overnight. I actually made this a day in advance and it was fine, even after sitting for a lengthy amount of time. I also left out the Grand Marnier the last time I made it-it may take away some of the sweetness, but not enough that you can't make it without it.
4. Take the dish out and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while a 350 degree oven preheats.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Top with powdered sugar, syrup, and drunken (or sober ;o)) strawberries, whipped cream etc.
-You can make drunken strawberries by mixing 1 c. of strawberries with 2 T. Grand Marnier, and 1 T. Sugar. Stir and refridgerate for 2-24 hours.
Ta Da-Breakfast is served.
Excuse me now while I go defend my membership to the Southern Baptist Church...;o)
Here is a picture (after baking, and pre-toppings) that shows you how the bread slices are 'squeezed together.'
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