Cinnamon-Orange French Toast Casserole

1
Marybeth Mank

By
@gr8chefmb

This is an extra special breakfast/brunch recipe especially good for serving to holiday guests or at an elegant brunch. The compound butter and syrup recipes may be prepared several days ahead. The casserole can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning. Serve with scrambled eggs and a winter fruit compote or summer fruit salad.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Who's ready for brunch?! Well, this recipe is one wonderful breakfast treat, for sure. There are multiple steps involved - and a good bit of effort - so be sure to plan ahead on this one. The pay-off is well worth the work. The Test Kitchen


Rating:

★★★★★ 6 votes

Comments:
Serves:
6-8
Prep:
12 Hr
Cook:
45 Min
Method:
Bake

Ingredients

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  • FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

  • 1 1/2 c
    whole milk
  • 1 1/2 c
    heavy cream
  • 8
    large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp
    dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp
    lightly packed fresh orange zest
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla
  • 1 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp
    coarse sea salt
  • 12
    (1-inch thick) slices sweet brioche or 16 (1/2-inch) baguette slices
  • ·
    butter or nonstick cooking spray
  • DARK CHOCOLATE ORANGE BUTTER

  • 4 oz
    dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp
    instant espresso powder
  • 2 Tbsp
    orange liqueur
  • 1 Tbsp
    frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed [may use 3 tablespoons if not using liqueur]
  • 1 Tbsp
    fresh grated orange zest
  • 1 lb
    unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • CINNAMON-ORANGE SYRUP

  • 3/4 c
    water
  • 1/4 c
    fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp
    fresh grated orange zest
  • 1 c
    packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp
    heavy cream
  • 1 tsp
    ground cinnamon

How to Make Cinnamon-Orange French Toast Casserole

Step-by-Step

  1. French Toast

    In mixing bowl of stand mixer, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until eggs are broken up and evenly combined. Generously butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray a nonstick 9”X13” baking dish. Place bread slices in baking pan in two rows, overlapping slices a bit. Pour egg mixture over bread slices, ensuring even coverage. Spoon some of the mixture in between bread slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

    The next morning, preheat oven to 350°F. Dot top with 3 or 4 tablespoons cubed Dark Chocolate Orange Butter. Bake for 45 minutes, or just until puffed and slightly golden. Cut into squares and serve with additional Dark Chocolate Orange Butter and Cinnamon-Orange Syrup.
  2. Dark Chocolate Orange Butter

    Place chocolate chips in small heatproof nonmetal mixing bowl and place in microwave. Melt chips, stirring halfway through cooking time, on medium to medium high power for 45 seconds, or just until chips are sufficiently softened to be blendable [be careful not to overheat or burn]. Remove from microwave and place melted chocolate in stand mixer mixing bowl. Use the whisk attachment to whisk in powdered sugar, espresso powder, orange liquor, and orange juice concentrate until smooth. Add butter and orange zest; stir until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture equally between two pieces of parchment paper (6" X 8"). Roll parchment into log shapes and twist ends to secure. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, about two hours (or you can place logs in the freezer for 30 minutes). Slice into thin rounds as needed.

    (This recipe can be prepared several days in advance. Keep frozen or refrigerated. Thaw at room temperature before serving. This recipe would also be great for grilled or broiled fruit or as a topping for pancakes, waffles, and toast.)
  3. Cinnamon-Orange Syrup

    Combine water, orange juice, orange zest and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon. Keep the syrup warm.

    (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Re-warm before serving.)

Printable Recipe Card

About Cinnamon-Orange French Toast Casserole

Main Ingredient: Eggs
Regional Style: American
Collection: Mother's Day




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