Food: A decadent make-ahead brunch for the ultimate weekend feast

(NC) Whether you’re a French toast enthusiast or prefer bacon and eggs, it’s hard to beat this perfect, over-the-top version of the classic brunch recipe. Plus, since the hands-on time is the night before, you can still get your beauty sleep and wake up ready to tuck in. Try out the recipe:

Overnight baked French Toast

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients

French toast

  • 9 large eggs
  • 1 loaf (675 g) Villaggio white bread
  • 3 cups (750 ml) whole milk
  • 3 cups (750 ml) whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) white sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Optional: 1 ½ oz Amaro or Luxardo

Sauce:

  • ½ cup (125 ml) butter
  • 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) whipping cream

Toppings:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered sugar
  • Fresh blueberries, raspberries
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whipped cream
  • 1 cup (250 ml) maple syrup

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a large 3-quart, 13 x 9 inch, baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Slice Villaggio white bread slices into halves. Leave crusts on and arrange in baking dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs then, add in milk, whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and Italian liqueur, if using.
  4. Gently pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over all of the bread slices, pressing down to submerge any floaters. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next morning, preheat oven to 375°F (190° C), and remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and set aside.
  6. In a small saucepan, over medium high heat, melt butter, then, mix in brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt and the 2 tbsp cream. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until butter and sugar mix melts and is incorporated.
  7. Drizzle the brown sugar butter mixture evenly over the entire baking dish of soaked bread, bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes – longer for a browner and crunchier top.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh berries, dust with powdered sugar, and serve with whipped cream and maple syrup.
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