After a long, wonderful afternoon outside in the garden, my husband and I just lazily sat and watched college basketball all night. Well, actually my husband watched hoop games, while I read blogs and cookbooks! And because I had just bought a large package of perfectly ripe, red raspberries, I decided to break away from the sofa and make something special for breakfast. We really enjoy a good stuffed, baked french toast and that’s where my mind wandered.
All of the ingredients were on hand, so at 10:00 PM, I didn’t have to run to the store. This French toast casserole is just a snap to put together in order to set in the frig overnight. A simple layering of bread, cheese, and raspberries swimming in a pool of eggs and cream. A thick raspberry sauce is ladled on top after baking. That’s all there is to it!
You’re going to love this, in fact, it could even pass as a bread pudding dessert! My husband and I ate a second piece . . . directly out of the pan!
- Cooking spray
- 12 slices white bread, cut into pieces (best to use a hardier bread such as Italian or Challah, older bread is also good to use)
- 2 (8oz) packages mascarpone, scooped out into chunks
- 2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- Coat bottom and sides of 7x11" or 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray (if using the smaller size, bake it much longer due to the depth of the ingredients - - nearly one hour).
- Place half of the bread pieces in the dish.
- Scatter the chunks of cheese over the bread.
- Scatter 1 cup of the berries over the mascarpone cheese.
- Top with the remaining bread cubes.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and syrup.
- Pour over the bread mixture.
- With a flat spatula, gently push down the bread so that every piece is soaked in the egg-cream-syrup mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
- Remove foil and bake 30 minutes or more until puffed up.
- ** As mentioned above, if using the smaller baking pan size, as I did, the baking time is nearly one hour. I also turned the oven up to 375 during the last half hour of baking.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil over medium high heat or until thickened.
- Gently fold in the remaining 1 cup raspberries and the butter.
- Stir until the butter melts.
- Remove the French toast from the oven and serve immediately with the sauce.
I serve this French toast alongside our favorite sausage and thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon. A cold glass of fresh orange juice tops this breakfast off along with your favorite hot cup of java!