While we were on vacation on Bar Harbor, our host at Anne's White Columns bed and breakfast made a baked French Toast with orange extract in it for us. He liked it because you make it the night before and then leave it to soak overnight and bake it in the morning. Yesterday I made something similar for dinner, based on a recipe we found on the net. It turned out really well. The recipe called for unsalted butter and then for a pinch of salt in the eggs. I used salted butter and left out the salt in the eggs... here's what I did.
prep time: 15 minutes. Chill time: 8 hours. Bake time: 40 minutes
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 cups Half and Half
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon Triplesec
10 slices buttermilk bread, 1/2 inch thick (recipe calls for Challa bread, cut in 1 inch thick slices)
In small saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring often, until well mixed and bubbly. Pour into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Mix together eggs (beaten), half and half, orange extract and triplesec until smooth and well mixed.
Lay bread slices into brown sugar mixture, pour egg mixture over the top. (I did two layers of bread, pouring half the egg mixture over the first layer and the second half over the second layer, since I didn't have fresh bread I could cut in 1 inch thick slices)
Put in fridge to chill for at least 5 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set out the dish of french toast to rise to room temperature, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Flip it over to serve, so the creme brulee part is on top. Serve with sliced peaches on top.
(the original recipe called for vanilla and grand marnier instead of the orange stuff, and called for berries on top. I'm sure it would be good that way too).
It seemed like if you wanted to mix this with meat for a more complete meal, it would be good with honeyed ham. We're thinking of doing that for christmas brunch this year.