Strawberry Baked French Toast

Hello Lovely,

Birthdays are great aren't they? My boyfriend was in town for his birthday last week, so to celebrate I made him breakfast in bed. At first I couldn't decide between French toast sticks and baked French toast. I had more confidence in myself for the French toast sticks. To be honest, I'm terrible at making French toast....and pancakes (as pointed out by my oh so loving boyfriend, that we will simply refer to from here on as 'The Pancake Incident'). Even though I wanted the day to be perfect, I wanted to challenge myself. So I went with the baked French toast.

I had made baked French toast before years ago but I lost that recipe. So when I found this one, I was ready to give it a shot. I prepared everything the night before as he slept, then got up early in the morning to throw it in the oven to surprise him. I served it with a side of homemade hash browns and sausage links. I skipped the almonds recommended for the topping even though I have some in my cupboard just because I'm not a fan of nuts. Feel free to add it if you like the extra crunch! You can add the fruit before or after baking depending on how you like it. I prefer to add it before as I feel it adds so much more flavour to the casserole.

He loved it! I think I definitely made up for 'The Pancake Incident'. I hope that you and your family enjoy your homemade breakfast treat.

STRAWBERRY BAKED FRENCH TOAST

INGREDIENTS

French Toast

·      1 loaf Bread

·      8 eggs

·      2 cups milk (not skim)

·      ½ cup heavy cream

·      2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Almond Crumble Topping

·      ½ stick of butter, melted

·      ¼ cup brown sugar

·      3 tablespoons of flour

·      ¼ cup sliced almonds

·      ½ teaspoon cinnamon

·      pinch of salt

Garnish with

·      Strawberries

·      Strawberry Butter/Jam

·      Syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

The Night Before

1.    Prepare your 9-by-13-inch baking pan by greasing the inside with softened butter or cooking spray. Tear bread into cubes, and place in the pan. Combine the eggs, milk, cream, and vanilla and pour evenly over the bread. All of the bread pieces should be soaked in the milk mixture. Cover the pan tightly with foil and store in the fridge overnight.

2.    Mix all of the almond crumble ingredients together and store in refrigerator overnight.

In the Morning:

1.    Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

2.    Remove the French Toast and crumble from the fridge. Break up the crumble mixture and sprinkle it over the casserole.

3.    Bake for 40 minutes for a softer French toast and 60 minutes for a crispier French Toast.

4.    Top with sliced Strawberries to garnish. Add your Homemade Strawberry Butter and Syrup.

Enjoy!