In 2005 I decided to start blogging. The main purpose (as with most blogs) was to keep sort of an online diary, but about food. I documented what I ate, what I cooked, my thoughts about food, yadda yadda yadda. The blog covered my move to Los Angeles (where I became more serious about blogging), my eventual move back to San Diego, my hellish daily commute from San Diego to Orange County and my engagement, accompanied by endless posts on cake tasting. Most of the people who commented were friends aware of my online presence, but there was still no sense of community.
Fast foward to 2011. I’m now part of a rich and vibrant food blogging network with fantastic women (and a few men) who are passionate about their blogs and share their recipes, restaurant experiences and sometimes a bit of their personal lives. Recently, a few of us local bloggers have been gathering once a month to socialize and learn from each other. Of course, anyone (especially those who blog) is invited to these events.
When food bloggers meet up, you can bet there’ll be food. For the last meeting, I made creme brulee french toast. When I first started my blog, I sought this recipe after discovering it at a restaurant. While the top of the egg-soaked challah bread looks plain, unassuming and even dry, on the bottom is a decadent caramel sauce. No syrup is needed.
This dish is easy to prepare for laid-back brunches. Pop some bacon in the oven while this is cooking and breakfast is served.
The San Diego Food Bloggers page can be found here and please check out my links to a few food bloggers.
Creme Brulee French Toast
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 large loaf challah bread, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice (or bourbon for a spiked version)
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×9 baking dish.
In a saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and maple syrup until the mixture begins to boil and brown resembling caramel. Remove from heat and pour mixture into baking dish.
Arrange bread pieces over caramel. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, salt, orange juice and sugar. Pour egg mixture slowly over bread making sure to every piece of bread is moistened.
Let bread soak up liquid for 10-15 minutes. Place baking sheet under baking dish to catch any drips and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.
Serve warm with strawberries and whipped cream if desired.
That’s it? It sounds so easy!
Your french toast was So Good. That caramel layer on the bottom really made the dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Yeah, I feel like I demystified the entire dish after posting the recipe. One warning: I only make this when I have a few guests to serve because if I was only Paul and me eating this, we would finish the entire thing!
I would consider being buried in this French toast. So good. Thank you for blessing us with your presence at round-tables, this French toast, and now this recipe so we can all gain 10 pounds. Gold star!
Ha! I hope nothing ever happens to you because I’ll be crying in big plate of this.
Your french toast was awesome! I’m happy to see the recipe is easy. I must make this soon!
Yes! EVERYONE must add this dish to their recipe box. 🙂
Bookmarked! It was so delicious… and I’m not even a big sweets person!
That’s a big compliment, Jane. I actually reduced the sugar quite a bit knowing the caramel sauce on the bottom is so rich. Thank you!
This dish was so fabulous at the potluck, Darlene! Thanks so much for posting the recipe, I’ll definitely be using it.
Thank you, Kathy!!! I’m glad you liked it that you’ll be using it later.
I remember finding you about the time you were tasting wedding cake. 🙂 And I never commented because I figured what could you possibly find interesting about someone years older than you. So I guess I’ve been a lurker. Hopefully, that’s a good thing. Just like this amazing recipe. I didn’t expect to taste the syrup IN the bite. So very, very good, and most likely going on my list for holiday breakfasts. The guys will love it.
I think I discovered you via Foodbuzz back then too when you were the only other San Diego food blogger listed. You are and still remain a very polished blogger and one that I look up to. Glad you enjoy the dish!
That was soooo good! That sauce is just divine. Its very similar to the brown sugar sauce that is poured over one of my favorite desserts, sticky toffee pudding.
I agree, it is really nice to feel a community of bloggers here. I was thinking to myself it is a bit of a shame it was all women.
Maybe women are just more social about food? I know there are definitely some men.
BTW: I love sticky toffee pudding too!
YAY! Thanks for sharing this crazy-good recipe. I’m so happy I met you Darlene. Your smile and kindness are contagious.
You’re so sweet! I’m so glad I know you!
OOMMMG! YES! Can you say dinner??
I believe it’s even more delicious for dinner!
I didn’t have challah bread on hand so I used regular white bread, instead. It still tasted great! My only problem is that there wasn’t enough for the rest of the family. Yummmm…
Good to know white bread also works! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
I love making french toast and will definitely try this recipe 😀
Thanks, Catzie! Let me know what you think!!
HOW MUCH VANILLA?!?!?!!?
Thanks for spotting that, Lauren. One teaspoon of vanilla.
Made it this morning and it’s delicious! It was a hit to my boys. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It’s definitely going to be a staple breakfast in our home.
Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for leaving a comment.
Here’s a photo of the version I made this morning:
Many thanks again and keep the wonderful posts coming.
Do you think using “Texas toast” instead of the challuh bread would work okay?
Absolutely. I think challah is a bit more rich but Texas toast or any other type of bread would work just as well. Let me know how it turns out!
1/4 what of OJ? I’m assuming Cup.
Anyone know if there is a crock pot adaptation for it?
Need the cook time conversions for a crockpot! Anyone?