Baked French Toast with Whipped Strawberry Butter

Monday, August 29, 2011

So if you follow me on Twitter you know that it was Mr. Schwartz's turn to bring in breakfast for Breakfast Club at work on Friday.  How cool is that!?  Seriously amazing idea.  When he told me it was his turn and that last time he brought in doughnuts and yogurt it took the wind right out of me.  Weak. Sauce.  I knew that I had to step up my game and I began brainstorming ideas.  First idea, breakfast burritos, crock pot of eggs, peppers and onions and salsa! GENIUS!  Mr. Schwartz said "someone did that already." Grr...egg bake?! "lame." Double grr...baked french toast!? "sounds good."  Yep, it went just like that.  And to top it off I thought a little whipped strawberry butter would do it.  It was a go.  

Please keep in mind that I was making this for about 40 people so the quantities are quite large.  Also keep in mind that I made everything the night before then Mr. Schwartz baked it in the morning...hence no great plating pictures--sorry!!!  

Overall, he said it was a hit!!! He came home and said "there were even a few 'best breakfast yet' thrown out there.  Okay, yes, I have redeemed my wifehood, praise J.  

Without further ado, here is Baked French Toast with Whipped Strawberry Butter for 40.  

Musical Selection: Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People.  I can't stop listening to it--so catchy.  
Yep, you will need all of this.  And, I did forget to mention that I made this after going to HH with my gal pal Sam.  Guess where Mr. Schwartz was?  Fantasy Football (1 of 3 I think this year) draft. Everything was done by the time he got home.  Wife of the year award? I think so. 
Anyway, start by tearing up the french bread.  
Then start with the custard mixture.  Get a crackin' on the eggs.... 32 to be exact.  Typically I don't crack them into a separate dish but, since there was so many and I didn't want to have to do this more than once, I cracked each egg in this ramekin before putting it into the larger bowl. 
Yep, 32 eggs.  This picture kinda grosses me out.  Sorry if it does the same to you.  I totally underestimated how much liquid this would be btw.  
So, as you can see, I switched bowls...still no room.  Add the milk...
Heavy cream...
And sugar.  Yes, do you see alll of that vanilla!? yum.
Mix it up....carefully if you can see there was no room for mixing in this bowl. 
Ladle the custard over the bread.  
Until it looks like this....
Cover it and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. I made it the night before. 
Then start on the streusel mixture. Yes, I said streusel.  Add flour...
Packed brown sugar...
And butter, lots of butter...
Chop it up with a pastry blender or a fork.  The directions say that the butter should be cold....mine was not cold enough so it got a little mushy.  In the end it worked out but it should look grainer than...
This.  I put press and seal on the bowl and put it into the refrigerator over night.
And got to work on the strawberry butter.  Which, oddly enough starts with butter..
Ew.  Gross. I hate strawberries.  I try to like them I swear.  I am hoping some day that the light will shine down on me and I will like them like I like mushrooms now.  But, until then, I need butter, cream cheese and sugar to make them edible...anyway...
Wash them and take the tops off.  Does anyone else use a grapefruit spoon to do this?  Little trick I stole from my momma.  But, now she has this super cool strawberry huller thing from Pampered Chef.  My Auntie Carol Ann gave it to her.  I might start liking strawberries just so I can use that nifty thing...
Oh yeah, chop up the strawberries...
Add the powdered sugar...
Mash em up.  I used my pastry blender for this as well. 
Whip the butter....
Add the strawberries.  Let's just be honest that this did not work right away.  The fat in the better did not want to get along with the liquid in the strawberries.  So, I  did what anyone would do, added more sugar and a 1/2 of a brick of cream cheese.  
That's more like it. 
In the morning we topped the french toast with the streusel. 
And baked them until they were golden brown.  (don't mind my pizza stone, I know he's dirty but he lives in there). 
And here is the strawberry butter.  

Lame ending huh!? I know, I feel bad I don't have any pictures but, you should give it a try and send me pictures for once! How about that!?  : ) 

**Please note that the recipe below is for a single 9x13.  If you need to make it for an army, just double, triple or quadruple.**

Baked French Toast 

1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread

8 whole Eggs

2 cups  Milk

1/2 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream

3/4 cups Sugar

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces

Fresh Fruit (optional)


Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks and evenly distribute in the pan.
Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Ladle evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Add butter into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and top with the streusel. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.
Recipe from: here
Whipped Strawberry Butter
1 Cup Butter
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 block of cream cheese
Set out butter so that it is soft at room temp.  
Clean and chop strawberries.  Add to a bowl with powdered sugar and mash. 
Whip butter in a mixer, add strawberries and cream cheese.  Mix until incorporated and fluffy.  
Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz 

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