I have to be completely honest, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Not because I think it is the 'most important meal of the day', but because the whole process has become a huge part of my morning routine. I always start by making coffee for Jacob and I and then I usually read for a while or work on that weeks blog post.
My breakfasts aren't usually extravagant. I try to eat a ketogenic diet so almost everyday I have scrambled eggs with gruyère cheese and some fresh fruit. Occasionally, however, I will splurge and have a sweet breakfast. I enjoy having pastries, muffins, pancakes, and waffles, etc. for breakfast every once in a while because it is a change from the ordinary. However, if I ate breakfasts like this more than every once in a while, I would have a problem on my hands because when I have a 'sweet' breakfast, it is sweet.
This weeks recipe, Crème Brûlée French Toast is definitely a very sweet breakfast that should be enjoyed rarely. It will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. It is creamy, sweet, and delicious! Made with sliced French Brioche dunked into a custard-like egg mixture, then sprinkled with sugar and cooked on a griddle until the sugar caramelizes. You will put sugar on both sides so that you get a crunchy sugar crust on the outside of each piece of french toast. This gives it that Brûlée topping that we are looking for in this recipe.
I do recommend using brioche bread for this recipe because the flavor and texture work very well together. If you have never had brioche, it is a French bread that is extremely buttery and has a soft fluffy texture. It is my absolute favorite kind of bread and if you haven't tried it, you need to now! You can find imported French Brioche at Whole Foods and Traders Joe's (for less than $4!!!) and most bakeries. If you can't find brioche, you can either buy a fresh loaf of french bread at your local grocery store and slice it 1" thick, or buy thick cut white bread. It won't taste as good, but it will still be delicious!
The custardy-egg mixture is what gives this french toast the Crème Brûlée flavor. You use four eggs, 2 egg yolks, heavy cream, half a vanilla bean, lemon zest, and some kosher salt. This results in an egg mixture that is much more rich than other regular french toast recipes use. The vanilla bean seeds give it a subtle vanilla flavor that I love but if you don't have vanilla beans, you can use vanilla extract.
To get the 'brûlée' topping on the french toast, I dunk the slices of bread in the egg mixture and lay them down on a cutting board. I then sprinkle about one tablespoon of granulated sugar evenly on the side facing up. Transfer the bread to a hot griddle, sugar side down, and then sprinkle another tablespoon of sugar on the remaining side of the bread that hasn't been sugared yet. Each side will need about 2-3 minutes to cook and for the sugar to caramelize.
You can enjoy the Crème Brûlée French Toast slices as is or with warm maple syrup, fresh berries, crème fraîche, or anything else you would like. I prefer pure maple syrup and a dollop of crème fraîche. Give this weeks recipe a try for your next brunch and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for visiting A Common Kitchen everyone!
Crème Brûlée French Toast
One loaf Brioche Bread, sliced into 1" thick slices
4 Large Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
½ Cup Heavy Cream
½ of a Vanilla Bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
A Pinch of Kosher Salt
½ Cup Granulated White Sugar
To serve: Butter, Pure Maple Syrup, Berries, Crème Fraîche, etc.
1. Preheat a flat griddle to medium-high heat. Use a tablespoon or so of butter to grease the griddle.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, lemon zest, and kosher salt until fully combined. Transfer to a shallow dish, such as a pie plate.
3. Dunk each piece of bread into the egg mixture for about 1-2 seconds on each side (you don't want to drench the bread!) and set on a cutting board. Sprinkle about one tablespoon of sugar evenly on the tops of the soaked pieces of brioche. Transfer the slices to the hot griddle, sugar side down. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized and turned golden brown in color. Sprinkle another tablespoon of sugar evenly on the tops the bread (the side that is facing up and hasn't been sugared yet) and flip them over. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized. Transfer the slices of french toast to a plate and cover with foil while you cook the rest.
4. Serve with butter and hot maple syrup if desired. Other good toppings would be fresh berries or crème fraîche, however, you can serve it with whatever you would like!