The culinary adventures of a 20-something woman navigating the wonderful world of food!

The culinary adventures of a 20-something year old woman navigating the wonderful world of food!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Overnight Baked French Toast

              As many of you know, I did not grow up cooking or baking. I left that to my mother and sister, both of whom were (and still are) wonderful cooks. My mother was excellent at the 'classic' recipes, my sister taking on a more adventurous side in the kitchen.
              A few weeks back, my husband and I invited my sister & her boyfriend to the boat. They came down the night before so that we could all have breakfast together & head out. My sister said she would bring breakfast. I insisted I had enough cereal to feed us all, but the stubborn type that she is, refused to be delegated to such a simple breakfast when we could have an elaborate feast.
           She brought with her overnight french toast - it was divine. Creamy & crispy, sweet yet tart, it everything an elaborate breakfast should be. The dish itself is quite rich though, so I wouldn't suggest serving it dieters (or just don't tell them!). We also served it with a warm strawberry-rhubarb sauce, and Canadian bacon would make a great side.
           Although I can take absolutely zero credit for this fabulous brunch dish, here it is:

French Toast:

1 French Baguette
6 lg. eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. Half and Half
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
1 tsp. corn syrup
Maple syrup & powdered sugar to serve.


** Don't forget to start the day BEFORE serving **

1. Cut bread into 1-inch slices. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or a larger rectangular pan. Arrange bread slices slightly overlapping to fill pan completely.
2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well and pour over bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter, sugar, nuts and corn syrup. Mix well and spread evenly over bread. Bake 40 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce:

2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced rhubarb
  • 5 drops red food coloring (optional)

  • Directions:

Combine sugar, orange juice, cornstarch, and vanilla in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add strawberries and rhubarb; reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the cooked berries with a fork. Stir in food coloring, if using. Serve warm or cold.

Source: Tracey Aitcheson, who adapted the french toast from; and the rhubarb sauce from

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