Sunday, August 7, 2011

Creme Brulee Challah French Toast

You know, most of the time when you talk to women about their weddings, they groan about how they didn't get to eat a thing.  Well, what can I say about myself?  Even my own wedding didn't come between me and a meal! 

We had a brunch wedding, which we loved and would highly recommend.  I love brunch and always wanted a brunch wedding -- it was perfect for us.  The Dishwasher and I both adored the french toast that they served: a creme brulee challah french toast.  I promised him that I would try to recreate it for our 1st wedding aanniversary.  Well...I was only a good 5-6 weeks late!

This recipe comes from the Food Network.  It delivers a creamy, caramel flavored french toast.  As you serve it, you discover a lovely bit of caramel syrup at the bottom of the pan, which is great for spooning over top -- just like a flan.  The original recipe calls for Grand Marnier, but I substituted orange zest.  The Dishwasher said he would prefer it without the orange flavor next time, but I thought it was rather lovely in cutting through the sweetness a bit.  I would recommend serving this topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

You prepare this the night before, and then bake it in the morning.  I always think that that is an ideal format for brunch recipes.  I will definitely make this the next time we have company for brunch!  It is incredibly decadent and delicious.  I did try to lighten it up a bit, but it still came in at so many Weight Watchers Points Plus that I will keep the number to myself!  We thought it tasted a lot like the dish we had at our wedding.  If you want the full, very rich recipe, go ahead to the Food Network...but here is my slightly lighter version.  Also, the recipe says it serves 6.  I will not tell you how quickly it is disappearing from our fridge, and there are only two of us here.

Creme Brulee Challah French Toast
serves 4-6
adapted from The Food Network


1/2 cup light butter (I buy a product without trans fats)
1 cup packed browns sugar
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1 medium to large loaf challah, cut into 1 inch thick slices
1 1/4 cups egg substitute
1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1/4 tsp salt

1. Over medium heat, in a small saucepan, stir together the light butter, the brown sugar, and the corn syrup.  Heat through until all of the ingredients are melted and well combined. 
2. Pour into a 9x13 baking pan.
3. Place the thick slices of challah bread into the 9x13 baker.  They should fit into the pan as tightly as possible.
4. In a bowl, combine the egg substitute, the half-and-half, the vanilla,  the orange zest, and the salt. 
5. Pour over the top of the challah bread.
6. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 8 hours, and up to 24 hours. 
7. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature before baking.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the casserole is golden and puffed up.


  1. Ooooh, now I can see why you want to use up leftover challah! :) Thanks for visiting! (I've never tried challah or cornbread in the brown betty, but they both sound great (esp. the cornbread!) and I don't see why not.

  2. This sounds delectable! And I love the idea of a brunch wedding! Great recreation.

  3. Sounds yummy! I love Creme Brulee and I love french toast, so this is a winner. Can't wait to try it.

  4. This looks so phenomenal. I didn't know it was possible to combine 3 of my favorite things into one recipe!