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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

French toast meets crème brûlée for the perfect Mother's Day brunch.

Michael Mina soaks brioche in vanilla bean custard, caramelizes each slice on the griddle, brushes the toasts with orange marmalade and sprinkles them with turbinado sugar. Finally, he uses a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar and marmalade, bringing the crunchy surface of crème brûlée to each slice of French toast. The nutty caramelized sugar complements the classic flavor combination of vanilla and orange. The result is so creamy, rich and sweet that maple syrup is not required.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Best bread. Start with a thick-cut brioche or Italian bread that will soak up a lot of the custard, but only allow the bread to soak for about 5 minutes. This will keep the texture of the bread while infusing it with creamy, rich flavor.
  2. Test for doneness. A cake tester inserted into the cooked French toast should come out feeling very hot to the touch – not just warm.
  3. Sugar, sugar. Sprinkle an even coat of sugar on the French toast before you begin to torch it. You’ll actually be caramelizing the sugars in the orange marmalade along with the sprinkled sugar.
  4. Plan ahead. You can prepare the French toast an hour in advance and then reheat it in the oven and brûlée it right before serving.

Toolbox

This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish:

  1. Hand torch. When caramelizing the turbinado sugar to create a brûlée topping, a hand-held propane torch gives you more control than you’d get by placing the toasts under the broiler.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish:

  • Medium-sized baking dish
  • Small baking sheet with rack
  • Hand torch
  • Non-stick pan or griddle
  • Chef’s knife
  • Tweezers
  • Paring knife
  • Rubber spatula
  • Whisk
  • Fish spatula (Peltex spatula)
  • Pastry brush
  • Cake tester

Crème Brûlée French Toast


Ingredients

Yield: 4-6 servings

Total Time: 45 minutes

Active Time: 30 minutes

Method
  1. Place the slices of brioche in a shallow container large enough to fit the slices of bread in a single layer. Pour the crème brûlée base over the bread and allow it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes or until half of the liquid is absorbed. Gently flip the slices of brioche and let soak until most of the liquid has been completely absorbed, 5 to 10 more minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix marmalade and Cointreau together.
  3. Heat a griddle over medium high heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter.
  4. Gently place 4 slices of the brioche on the griddle and let brown for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bottom is dark golden brown. Flip the slices and brown slowly on the other side for another 3 to 4 more minutes, until the slices are golden brown.  Place the slices on a drying rack. The slices should be cooked through by the time they are brown – insert a cake tester, and when it comes out warm to the touch the slices are done.  Transfer the slices to a rack and repeat the process again with the remaining four slices.
  5. Brush the tops of the toast with the orange marmalade mixture to lightly coat the slices then sprinkle the toasts evenly with turbinado sugar.
  6. Slice banana and place pieces on rack. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  7. Use a torch to melt and caramelize the turbinado sugar on the toast and the banana slices (if you’re using for a garnish).
  8. Flip the slices and brush the other sides with marmalade and sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar. Caramelize this side as well.

 

Note: If you do not have a torch, preheat your broiler and then place all the slices on a sheet pan. Cover the slices evenly with sugar and insert under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the slices so they do not burn.

Tips: You can make the French toast an hour in advance and then reheat it in the oven. Using a torch or a broiler, caramelize the sugar right before serving.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Crème brûlée French toast with grilled stone fruit

This decadent French toast pairs well with grilled or broiled stone fruit.

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