French Toast Casserole

Wisdom teeth extraction post-op: It was a rough weekend. Despite the fact that I had a pretty smooth recovery — minimal pain & swelling — I was still experiencing a fair amount of discomfort which made it difficult to eat non-soft foods.

However, I had a huuuuge urge to bake something — but it had to be something sweet (cause I love sweets), semi-soft (because I just got 4 teeth pulled), and delicious.

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe that was given to me by my friends’ (Lauren & Ali) kind mother and so I figured it would be the perfect time.

Saturday night, after ending a wonderful Harry Potter flick, I told my boyfriend we MUST make this french toast casserole for breakfast tomorrow. And so we did. And it went a little something like this:

I cubed a loaf of challah, while my boyfriend combined eggs, vanilla, and milk in a large bowl.

I gave him the cubed bread and he dumped it into the egg mixture and mixed it all together, like a pro!

Then we covered the bowl in saran and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, my boyfriend almost left before baking the casserole. Crazy, eh? But then I told him I’d make him a delicious vegetable omelette and he agreed to stay just a little longer (he’s not so big on sweets in the morning — weird).

Next step: I mixed together brown sugar, maple syrup, and melted butter and drizzled it over the bread mixture.

And it was ready to bake.

After 45 minutes at 350°F it looked something like this.

Golden, crispy, and just the right amount of sweetness.

By the way, I ate a slice for breakfast. Then another slice for lunch. Then another slice as an afternoon snack. And one last slice for dinner. That’s ALL I ate all day. French. Toast. Casserole. And it’s all gone now 😦

Best day ever.

French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of Challah
  •  7 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Method

  1. Slice bread into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla in large bowl.
  3. Add bread cubes to egg mixture, mix well, cover with saran and refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next morning: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Place bread mixture in 9 x 13 inch greased baking dish.
  6. Combine sugar, syrup, and butter and drizzle over dish.
  7. Bake in oven for about 40-45 minutes until golden and puffy.

Yours edibly,

Elana

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Gourmet Club: Brunch

As I mentioned earlier, our most recent Gourmet Club was the best theme yet: brunch for dinner! I had been looking forward to this night for ages. Sipping mimosas while watching the sunset made this night beautiful and tasty 🙂

Now for the spread…

There was supposed to be a baked mushroom omelette which would have added a nice savoury component to the meal — but the delicous rosti made up for it:

My friend Jaime did a wonderful job preparing the rosti — don’t they look perfect?

Next up, baked french toast:

Served with a side of glazed strawberries:

Then we had some coconut pancakes,

corn muffins,

fresh berries,

and last but not least, delicious homemade granola (courtesy of Ali 🙂 )

Thanks ladies for a wonderful evening.

Yours edibly,

Elana

P.S. I prepared the sticky buns, which you can see in the picture of the spread.

Sticky Buns

I swear these buns are just as sticky as they look. But even more delicious than you would expect.

I made these buns for my most recent Gourmet Club dinner. We had the best theme yet: Breakfast/Brunch for dinner! It was a dream come true… a bit of a carb overload but still a dream 🙂

I decided to use a very easy recipe because our dinner was in the middle of the week so I didn’t have time to prepare anything too fancy.

I found a great recipe in my Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook that was perfect! I made a few changes, based on some reviews I found, but otherwise that was it.

I started these buns by combining butter, brown sugar, and pecans and placing about a tablespoon at the bottom of 12 muffin trays.

Next, I floured the table, rolled out a sheet of puff pastry, and covered it with melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans like so:

I then rolled up the sheet nice and tight, and sliced it into six pieces. I repeated this all again and placed the spirals in the muffin tray.

I baked the buns at 350°F for 40 minutes until they were golden brown.

Then I removed them from the tray and placed them bottom side up on the plate.

All done.

The buns were firm on the outside but were soft and ooey gooey in the center, just how I like them!

Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics – Sticky Buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
  • 1 package (450g) or 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted overnight in fridge

For the Filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place 12-cup muffin tray on baking tray lined with parchment paper.

In an electric mixer, combine 1 1/4 sticks of butter and 1/3 cup of brown sugar until it has a paste-like texture. Place about a tablespoon in each muffin tray and sprinkle with a few pecans.

Flour a flat surface and roll out a sheet of puff pastry over top. Brush the entire sheet with 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle the sheet with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, making sure to leave a 1-inch border. Roll up the pastry nice and tight, trim the ends, and slice into 6 equal pieces. Place each piece spiral side up into muffin tray. Repeat with second sheet.

Bake the buns for about 40 minutes, until they are golden brown and the edges are firm. Cool for 5 minutes then invert onto baking tray or plate.

Yours edibly,

Elana

P.S. Gourmet club pictures will be up shortly!