Thursday, February 27, 2014

Overnight Caramel French Toast

If you love caramel, you’ll find this recipe delicious. If you aren’t a caramel fan, you will be by the time you’ve licked all 10 fingers after trying this dish. As with my Stuffed French Toast with Orange-Pecan Filling, this recipe requires a thick - not thin - French baguette. The well-soaked bread should remain in the refrigerator overnight. Pop it into the oven about an hour before you expect to seat your guests for brunch.  

Overnight Caramel French Toast:

1-½ c. brown sugar (see Note)
¾ c. butter or margarine
 c. golden corn syrup
8-to-10 slices French bread sliced 1-½ in. (4 cm) thick
4 eggs
2-½ c. whole milk 
1 tbsp. vanilla
Dash salt
Dash nutmeg
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

The night before …

In a medium saucepan with a heavy base, stir together brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat for 5 min. or until mixture begins to bubble, stirring constantly. Pour hot syrup evenly into 9x13x2-in. (23x33x5 cm) glass baking dish. Lay bread slices close together in syrup. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Pour over bread slices. Cover and refrigerate 8 hr. or overnight. 

In the morning …

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over bread using a shaker or sieve. Bake 45-to-50 min or until mixture is puffed and set at the center. Serve at once.

Note: If you’re a novice cook whose recipes don’t always work out, see my indexed post titled How to Measure Ingredients Accurately. In it (among other things), you’ll learn that brown sugar should always be packed into your measuring cup or spoon. And take heart! Everyone has cooking failures now and then.

Tip: To avoid the last-minute hassle of getting everyone to the table (invariably at the very moment Uncle Morrie decides to familiarize himself with the bathroom), head for the table early (Are you in there, Morrie?). That way, you can linger over champagne cocktails and coffee, serving this dish a few minutes later (We thought youd died, Morrie!) just the way it’s meant to be served - hot, puffed, and golden (We were ready to break the door down!). Nuff said, Dollinks.

Tomorrow: Orange Brunch Strata with Cranberries and Walnuts.

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