Thursday, February 23, 2012

Overnight Caramel French Toast

Moderation with caramel, and sugar, and thick-sliced bread.

Sounds like a joke, right? I'm not kidding.

This is Caramel Overnight French Toast, and no, it's not my own recipe, I confess, but I want to share it with you because I constantly get asked for it. Truly, that's how this entire blog thing started. People would ask for a recipe and I'd post it here, so it was easier. I had no theme, no commitment to it, it was just a way to share my love for food with others.

I think that gets forgotten in the food blog way too often.

In the middle of deadlines, sponsorships, conferences, giveaways, and popularity, we forget that food blogs simply popped up to share a love of food. I think we'd all be better writers, developers, and people, if we remembered that the passion for food and sharing it, should be our first priority. Then again, I can say this because I have a day job that pays the bills.

Back to moderation, however. You know that's my "theme". The "lighter" part of the title of this blog has more to do with the "lighter" side of eating local. "Lighter", as in, a not so serious side of trying to live a more local and regional lifestyle. Yes, it wasn't thought out. Yes, I probably should change the name of this blog since most think it's about healthy eating. Most of my recipes are fairly healthy, but I'm a firm believer in moderation of all things, including those full of fat and sugar.

Including Caramel French Toast.

This is a Cooking Light recipe I stumbled upon a few years back. Ever since, it's become a choice for me to bring to holiday brunches, sleepovers, and when there's a special Sunday morning. It only comes out once or twice a year. The main reason is that it's super sweet. In moderation, that's perfect. The other reason, it does use corn syrup.

Before you skewer me for that, I'm here to tell you it's OK. I live and cook with mostly local products, and whole foods. I'm a true believer that if you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it... regularly.

However, in moderation, it's OK. I use corn syrup, maybe, three times a year in a recipe. It has properties that lend itself to easy caramelization. If you really hate it, you can sub maple syrup here, but you won't get caramel.

Here's my deal and my confession. Every once in a while I'll eat something crazy processed. And yes, even though I know it's probably one molecule off from plastic, I'll have a fast food shake every once in a while, because I can. Frankly, where we veered off the path with processed foods is when they stopped becoming "treats". That once in a while thing you got when you were good at the dentist or something. However, when a trip through the drive-through became a several-times-a-week thing, we took a wrong turn.

You can live a life enjoying mostly whole and local foods, the best of what life and nutrition has to offer, but you can also allow yourself certain things, use "forbidden" ingredients, every once in while. It won't kill you. It won't upset your balance, as long as it doesn't become habit.

Heck, if you don't like these things, then don't eat them. Don't feel like you can't pick up something that's on the "bad" list, however. There's no good or bad, if you place limits and practice moderation. In other worse, don't beat yourself up. Life is too short to not enjoy guilty pleasures, that truly, aren't really guilty in the first place.

Until then, enjoy french toast, soaked in caramel.

Overnight Carmel French Toast
Source: Cooking Light
Serves: 8

  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Cooking Spray
  • 10 slices french (soft) bread (I like to use Texas Toast here)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Combine light-brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan. Cook these over medium heat until mixture bubbles. Stir is constantly. 
  2. Coast a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, pour caramel mixture into bottom of dish.
  3. Put you bread slices in a single layer over the caramel mixture.
  4. Combine milk, flour, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a large bowl, whisk to combine. 
  5. Pour milk mixture over bread, evenly.
  6. Cover and refrigerate the dish, overnight, or for at least 6 hours. 
  7. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  8. Mix together your sugar and ground cinnamon, and sprinkle over bread. 
  9. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

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Stephsbitebybite said...

I would eat this for breakfast everyday if i could!!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

This looks out of this world and reminds me of the Creme Brulee French Toast that I had on Christmas morning! I am guilty of using corn syrup on occasion too... what can you do?!

The Food Hunter said...

I am going to need to make this for my husband real soon.