Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel

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This Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel is perfection. Every warm crunchy bite makes us want to cry. Creamy vanilla custard with perfectly caramelized, crunchy, pillowy, pieces of bread. All topped with warm Salted Caramel. We have tried a million versions of this so-called “Creme Brûlée French Toast” floating around the internet. None, absolutely none come close to this. This a great dessert to make for family or friends. We would even make this as a sweet treat for brunch with some fresh berries. It’s decadent and rich and highly caloric but we don’t care it is worth every single bite.

What you will need to make Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel

French toast creme brûlée ingredients

How to make Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel

There are three parts to this recipe.

  1. The Caramelized Bread:
  2. The Custard
  3. The Salted Caramel

1. Let’s start with the Custard

Ingredients:

  1. egg yolks
  2. sugar
  3. vanilla pod
  4. milk
  5. heavy cream (minimum 35%fat). Any lower and the custard won’t set up properly. You can check the fat percentage on the side of the box.
  6. cornstarch

The base of this dessert is a rich, creamy, perfectly sweetened vanilla custard. The consistency we are looking for is a thick pudding. The only thing you need to worry about in this part of the recipe is tempering the eggs. Tempering is a cooking technique used when blending eggs into hot mixtures. Tempering prevents the eggs from curdling and cooking. People are scared of tempering eggs, but It is a super easy process and we are going to walk you through it.

Infusing the Vanilla into the Milk & Cream:

The first step is heating up our milk and cream and infusing it with the vanilla. On medium heat in a medium saucepan, heat milk + cream + vanilla seeds + vanilla pod. Right when it comes to a simmer take off the heat. Let the vanilla pod and seeds steep in the milk and cream for 10 minutes while we prepare our egg yolks. If you can not find vanilla pods, you will have the opportunity later to add some vanilla extract, but do not add at this stage because it will evaporate and will not taste as strong.

Infused Milk

Tempering your Eggs:

While the milk + cream is steeping we will prepare the eggs. In a small bowl mix together your sugar and cornstarch set that aside. In a medium bowl separate your eggs, we will not be using the whites for this recipe just the yolks. Here is a video with some tips and tricks on separating eggs. Once you have separated your egg yolks, whisk to break them up. Now add in the sugar and cornstarch, whisk together well. The mixture should be lighter in color with no lumps. If you did not use a vanilla pod, this is the time to add in your vanilla extract. Please try and source real vanilla extract, in a vanilla custard this is where most of the flavor comes from. If you are in Dubai this is where we get our vanilla from, it’s perfect, it has proper natural vanilla flavor, and seeds.

After the milk and cream have steeped for 10 minutes, we need to temper the eggs. To do this, add a cup of the warm milk and cream in a steady stream into the egg mixture while whisking. Continue adding a cup at a time while you whisk until your milk and cream is done. Pass the mixture through a strainer back into the same pot the milk and cream were in, discard the vanilla pod.

Making the Custard:

Place the pan back on the stove, and on medium-low heat gently whisk the mixture until it starts to thicken. Continue whisking until your mixture has reached a pudding consistency (ours took about 5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Cover the custard with cling film making sure to press it down directly on top of the custard so we do not get a skin. Place in the fridge while we make the caramelized bread.

2. Caramelized Bread

This caramelized bread is sooo good we can not stop eating it. The bread is soft and pillowy on the inside but forms the most perfect buttery caramel crust on the outside.

Preheat your oven to 175°C, while we prepare this component of the recipe.

You will need an uncut loaf of bread for this. We used the leftovers from our Hokkaido Milk Bread and it came out perfect. Any brioche loaf or uncut toast loaf will work. Cut your loaf into 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick slices. You will need 4.

In a small bowl mix together the room temperature butter and sugar. Making sure the sugar is evenly distributed.

Spread the mixture in a thin layer on both sides of your sliced bread, making sure you get all the way to the edges.

Caramelized Toast

Heat a medium-sized nonstick saucepan on medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot add 1 slice of the bread. Do not touch it, after 2-3 minutes using a spatula lift the edge of the bread if it has caramelized and browned, move the piece of bread around the pan to catch any of the caramel that has formed then flip over. Repeat on the other side. Remove the bread and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with all slices of bread.

Once the bread has cooled it should be properly caramelized and when you tap it should sound hard. Using a serrated knife cut the bread into 2.5 cm (1-inch) cubes.

Remove custard from fridge and give it a whisk to smooth it out. In a 25cm round ovenproof pan (or equivalent) add the custard in an even layer.

Arrange your caramelized cubes of bread on top pressing them down gently into the custard. Arrange any extra pieces on top.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes to heat through.

Remove from oven, drizzle on the warm salted caramel sauce and serve.

For any leftovers, cover, and place in the fridge.

Salted Caramel

This is what we will drizzle on the Creme Brûlée French Toast once it is out of the oven. We are going to follow the recipe we have on our blog for salted caramel. You can find it here. We will just omit the vanilla bean, and take it off the heat sooner so that we have a lighter sweeter caramel. We like the caramel sauce for this to be salty, but add the amount you like. Dust with some powdered sugar(optional) and serve.

Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel
Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel
Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel
Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel

If you make this Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thetablediaries on Instagram. We love seeing all the recipes you and your family enjoy.

Creme Brûlée French Toast with Salted Caramel

Servings 6 people
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins

Ingredients

For the Custard

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 67 grams sugar ⅓ cup
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1.5 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream 35% fat
  • 30 grams cornstarch 4 tbsp

For the Caramelized Toast

  • 4 1-inch slices bread (Hokkaido Milk Bread) Uncut loaf of Brioche Uncut loaf White Toast
  • 113.4 grams butter (room temperature) 8 tbsp
  • 75 grams sugar 6 tbsp

Salty Caramel

  • 200 grams sugar 1 cup
  • ½ cup cream
  • 42.5 grams butter cubed 3 tbsp cubed
  • 1/2 tsp flakey sea salt salt to your taste start with 1/4 tsp and work up from there

Instructions

Custard

  • Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds.
  • On medium heat in a medium saucepan heat, milk + cream + vanilla seeds + vanilla pod. Right when it comes to a simmer take off the heat. Let the vanilla pod and seeds steep in the milk and cream for 10 minutes.
  • While the milk and cream are steeping, In a small bowl mix together sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl add your egg yolks and whisk to break them up.
  • Add in sugar and cornstarch, whisk together well. The mixture should be lighter in color with no lumps. If you did not use a vanilla pod, this is the time to add in your vanilla extract. Please try and source real vanilla extract, in a vanilla custard this is where most of the flavor comes from.
  • After the milk and cream have steeped, we need to temper the eggs. To do this, add a cup of the warm milk and cream in a steady stream into the egg mixture while whisking. Continue adding a cup at a time while you whisk until your milk and cream is done.
  • Pass the mixture through a strainer back into the same pot the milk and cream were in, discards the vanilla pod.
  • Place the pan back on the stove and on medium-low heat gently whisk the mixture until it starts to thicken. Continue whisking until your mixture has reached a pudding consistency (ours took about 5-6 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Cover the custard with cling film making sure to press it down directly on top of the custard so we do not get a skin. Place in the fridge while we make the caramelized bread.

Caramelized Bread

  • Preheat oven to 175°C
  • In a small bowl mix together the room temperature butter and sugar. Making sure the sugar is evenly distributed.
  • Spread the mixture in a thin layer on both sides of your sliced bread, making sure you get all the way to the edges.
  • Heat a medium-sized nonstick saucepan on medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot add 1 slice of the bread. Do not touch it, after 2-3 minutes using a spatula lift the edge of the bread if it has caramelized and browned, move the pieces of toast around the pan to catch any of the caramel that has formed then flip over. Repeat on the other side. Remove the bread and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with all slices of bread.
  • Once the bread has cooled it should be properly caramelized and when you tap it should sound hard. Using a serrated knife cut the bread into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes.

Salted Caramel

  • Prepare all your ingredients before you start, we need everything ready to go.
  • Heat your cream mixture either in the microwave or on the stovetop. (no boiling just warm)
  • Using a large saucepan (one that can hold 2.8 liters will do) place your sugar in one even layer. Heat on medium heat. Do not stir or touch it. It will start to melt unevenly, first around the edges and then larger areas. When you see larger areas of sugar melting start to swirl the pan around encouraging the wetter areas to mix with the dry sugar until all sugar has melted. Make sure you swirl the melted sugar around the edges to catch any stray sugar crystals, you can also use a pastry brush dipped in water to help with this.
  • When the mixture reaches a nice amber color remove from the heat and wear your kitchen mitts. Gently stream in your warmed cream whisking at the same time. Be very careful the mixture will bubble up aggressively.
  • Whisk in your butter a cube at a time make sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding the next cube.
  • Add your sea salt.
  • Serve this warm on top of the Creme Brûlée French Toast.

Assembly

  • Remove custard from fridge and give it a whisk to smooth it out.
  • In a 25cm round ovenproof pan (or equivalent) add the custard in an even layer.
  • Arrange your caramelized cubes of bread onto the custard pressing them down gently into the custard. Arrange any extra pieces on top.
  • Place in the oven for 10 minutes to heat through.
  • Remove from oven drizzle on warm salted caramel and serve. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).
  • For any leftovers, cover, and place in the fridge.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert

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