Crème brûlée French toast

Sure, I've been making a ton of waffles but that doesn't mean I've given up on other breakfast mainstays like pancakes and French toast.  Variety is where it's at!
So with the upcoming weekend, let's talk about the wonderful meal called breakfast, or brunch, and let's revisit French toast!  Specifically, let's make crème brûlée French toast.  Doesn't that sound good?  I saw the recipe from Martha Stewart and thought it would be fun to give it a try.  And since we had a long weekend this week, I had the chance to whip this up during one of the mornings.
The idea is really quite simple.  If you think about it, the custard used for French toast is very similar to crème brûlée (i.e., eggs, milk, vanilla, and sugar).  What's missing would be the signature caramel crust we all love in a crème brûlée.  So here, with this crème brûlée French toast, what you do is sprinkle the top of the bread with granulated sugar, cook it until it develops a caramel crust, then flip it over and do the same on the reverse side.  You end up with this golden sweet crust on your French toast!
What a creative yet simple little twist on basic French toast!  Sometimes, a little spin on things is just what you need to keep it interesting, for both the cook as well as everyone eating.  I had fun making it and this was a hit at our house; my French toast-loving husband heartily approved.


I used basic white bread to make my French toast though classic choices like challah or brioche are welcome if you prefer.  It was really fun to see a layer of golden crust develop on the French toast.  It literally made for a layer of insulation to the point where the maple syrup sits on top of the bread instead of soaking immediately into it.
Funny thing - a few days after I made this, I saw Tricia Yearwood and her husband, Garth Brooks, make something similar on her cooking show.  They used cinnamon-sugar (and a thick-cut honey wheat bread).  If you are a fan of cinnamon toast, that might appeal to you as another spin on this!

This is certainly a sweet treat of a breakfast.  Personally, I was mindful about the sugar used to make the coating - using enough but not going overboard.  Because of the sweet crust on this crème brûlée French toast, you don't need a lot of maple syrup so start with restraint and go from there.  Some simple fresh fruit would be great on the side.

Recipe:

Crème brûlée French toast
Adapted from Martha Stewart

- Approximately 2 servings - 

2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or half vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out)
Pinch of coarse salt
1/4 cup (or so) granulated sugar
4 slices thick white bread (or another kind, like brioche or challah bread)
Butter or oil for cooking (I use a combination of butter and canola oil) 
For serving (optional): powdered sugar, maple syrup, fruit

In a shallow, rimmed plate or dish, whisk the eggs together with the milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt.  

Melt about 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  

While pan is heating, add bread slices into egg mixture to soak.  Flip over and sprinkle the top of each slice evenly with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, pressing lightly to adhere.  Lift the bread from the egg mixture, letting excess drip, and place into the pan, sugar side down.  Sprinkle the top of each slice with another 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.  Let cook until bottom caramelizes, about 5 minutes. Flip and let the second side brown, about 4-5 minutes.  If the bottom is browning too quickly, lower the heat. 

Serve immediately (or keep warm in a 250 degree oven if necessary), with a light dusting of powdered sugar, and with maple syrup and fruit on the side.




34 comments:

  1. So yum! I wonder whether it tastes as great as with 100% wholewheat bread...this is really tempting!

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    1. I keep telling/asking my husband why we haven't made French toast with whole wheat bread...I mean, why not! But it's hard to break from a "sure thing" but I will try it one day soon. I'm sure it'll be "different" but good in its own way. Whole wheat everything has come such a long way...

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  2. I love french toast so much! I love how this looks ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  3. I have a long list of breakfast ideas, but me and my family have to have french toast no matter what. Your version looks delicious and fluffy. I'd love to try it on weekend :)

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    1. I really enjoy cooking and sitting down to breakfast. Hope you have some good French toast very soon!

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  4. This is definitely such a fun spin on french toast! We're finally home again after traveling (and not being able to cook) and I have a ton of recipes I want to make! haha Now I need to add french toast to the list!! Happy weekend Monica!!

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    1. The top thing I crave after a trip is cooking and just eating familiar homemade food. Hope there's plenty cooking at your place - enjoy the weekend, Ashley!

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  5. Here, we love the pain perdu, the recipe I have is slightly different :) but looks delicious Chef Monica.

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    1. I'm making French toast again this morning. I like to stuff them with peanut butter. ; )

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  6. I'm all about French toast this morning too Monica! And you're right, it's very Creme Brulee like! :D

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    1. haha - thanks, Lorraine. I know you must do breakfast right!

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  7. I absolutely love love french toast and what a yummy twist my friend. It's so nice to sprinkle sugar and the crunchy coating. This is post which remind of my Dad who made french toast almost every weekend with a touch of cardamom.
    Have a beautiful weekend. xo

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    1. That's lovely that French toast reminds you of your Dad. What a rich childhood you had, Asha!

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  8. My grandma used to make this for me ages ago using stale white bread... I haven't had it in more than 20 years and I used to like it so much. Thanks for the reminder, I could make it for my kids, they would love it, I'm sure.

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    1. I always had French toast with white bread so that's what I still use to this day. I hope you make some French toast for the family soon. Have a great weekend.

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  9. Oh, this looks amazing Monica! I adore creme brulee and love this fun and creative twist on french toast! It would make the perfect weekend breakfast! :)

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    1. So easy and just a fun little mix up. We cook so much, we need to keep it fun and interesting. Always something to talk about... ; )

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  10. Oh, my daughter is a big fan of French toast! Yours are so perfect! It would be a wonderful idea for our breakfast tomorrow:) Thanks!!

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    1. Thanks - hope you have a lovely plate of French toast with your daughter soon if you haven't already!

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  11. What a clever little breakfast treat! I've bruleed fruits before and I just love the crunch on top This is going to be my next project:-) I even love the idea of the cinnamon sugar. Brilliant!

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    1. It is fun to have just a little twist of something you make often. : )

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  12. Great idea, this look s delicious. I love brulee and French Toast, perfect. GG

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    1. I do love creme brulee, too! This is a good way to mimic that a little at breakfast.

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  13. You just reminded me what I can do with my leftover bread! This looks delicious!

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    1. It's great to find ways to use up all our ingredients, isn't it. Thanks, Jasline.

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  14. I love french toast! And caramelized french toast is a definite winner!

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    1. It makes a nice brunch. Thanks, Melanie.

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  15. What a lovely sight to see in the morning! This would be the perfect breakfast for me. Perfectly paired with a cup of coffee!

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    1. Definitely with coffee and to be savored on a leisurely weekend... : )

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  16. This sounds wonderful Monica! I made simple cinnamon french toast recently and could not believe how I missed it. I don't think I've had it in years. That is so sad :) Love the brûlée idea - thank you!

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    1. It wasn't til the last couple of years that I started enjoying cinnamon more...I know, I know... ; ) So now I'm all for cinnamon french toast but it wasn't always the way. Hope all is well!

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  17. I love the twist on french toast; that caramel finish is just what I'm looking for to take the breakfast treat to the next level. Thanks for sharing! Looks scrumptious (:

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    1. Little twists make cooking and eating a bit more exciting so it's not so routine, I think...thanks for stopping by.

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