This is one of my most favouritest breakfast ever. It also helps that it's a prep-ahead dish. The rich sweetness of this pairs wonderfully with some nice smokey/salty bacon and a strong cup of coffee or, y'know, some mimosas. It's perfect for a special occasion, or for making Sunday breakfast a treat.
Crème Brûlée French Toast
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (based on the reviews, I reduce this to a scant tbsp)
an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.(generally I try to leave it sitting out for about half an hour, it's still a bit chilled, but it works. Depending on how long you leave it out, you may have to adjust the cooking time)
Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot French toast immediately.