Salted Caramel Overnight French Toast

I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds a little extravagant, doesn’t it?” Why yes, yes it does. But what else are you going to make on the coldest day of the year? That’s right. When you’re freezing your butt off, there’s nothing much you can do other than pack on the carbs, butter and caramel and hope that you survive until spring decides to rear it’s beautiful, green head. So, on the day that I decided, unequivocally, not to leave the house in protest of the season, I treated Justin and I to an over-the-top extravagant breakfast. So worth it!

DSC05171I’ve only ever made homemade caramel once before, and it didn’t turn out so well the first time. I had better instructions this time, courtesy of the queen of caramel herself, Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen.

DSC05174She said to melt the butter, sugar and salt in a pan until it begins to bubble and turn brown.

DSC05176Take it off the stove just as it turns brown, as the pan will continue to cook it for a little while off the heat.

DSC05177Deb used a nice brioche for hers, so I decided to go for a multigrain loaf, to try and make myself feel a little better for eating desert for breakfast 😉

DSC05178I sliced and diced it all up.

DSC05179Next, make your egg batter. I used one extra egg, and an extra 1/4 cup of milk for this recipe, because I like my french toast extra saucy.

DSC05180Dunk your bread into the egg batter and leave it there for about a half hour, while the bread soaks up the egg and your caramel cools in the fridge. Stir every once and a while to evenly coat the bread.

DSC05181Dump it all into the pan on top of the caramel.

DSC05182Now here’s the fun part. Cover it with saran wrap, then squish it with a plate, to get the bread to absorb as much of the egg mixture as possible.

DSC05183In the morning, bake it at 375 for about 50 mins.

DSC05184You can see the ooey, gooey caramel bubbling up the sides of the pan. Hmm!

DSC05185Flip it over onto a plate, to showcase the caramel glory.

DSC05187

Tada! Perfect over the top breakfast for a morning that is colder than a witch’s bosom.

Salted Caramel Overnight French Toast (modified, from Smitten Kitchen)

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 or 3 pinches of a coarse salt
1 loaf multigrain bread.
9 large eggs
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (I used ricotta because I couldn’t find marscapone…)
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large cast iron skillet, place 3/4 cup sugar, butter and sea salt and heat over medium heat. The butter will melt and, after 7 to 10 minutes, the sugar will dissolve and begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir with a spoon or spatula so that it browns evenly. You will find that the butter separates from the melting sugar and this is just fine. Do your best to keep them stirred together but know that it will all work out in the end even if it’s split. Stop cooking the caramel once it’s reached a medium brown colour; it will continue cooking and darkening for a minute off the stove.

Place pan in refrigerator and chill until caramel is cold and solid, about 30 minutes. While the caramel is cooling, make your egg base and cut up your loaf of bread.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs and 1/4 mascarpone or ricotta cheese, until very smooth. Add milk and vanilla extract. Dump bread into your egg bowl, making sure to saturate all of it. Once your caramel is completely cool, pour bread over top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight. If you bread seems too high in the pan to get a good soak, you can weight it with a plate in the fridge.

In the morning, heat oven to 375°F. Take dish from fridge, remove plastic, and bake 50 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and run a knife around edge of dish, loosening bread from sides. Place a serving plate over top of dish (bottom side up), and, using potholders, hold pan over sink and flip french toast onto it. Lift baking dish off plate; scrape any extra caramel from pie dish over french toast. Serve, warm with a mug of coffee.

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