Hosting brunch for my family feels like I’m participating in a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge. I have a limited amount of time to pull off a successful brunch. There’s no immunity at stake but I sometimes feel as if my life is on the line. My family will “eliminate” me if I don’t have everything ready in time. If I had a camera on me I would look just as hectic and hyper as the contestants on Top Chef. All burners are go!
I’ve hosted brunch on numerous occasions since I started this site. I’ve yet to take pictures of what I’ve made other than this snapshot of some dishes on the table before the crowd descended. My Bourbon Vanilla French Toast Casserole is the one dish that everyone goes crazy for. I’ve tried to switch up the menu in the past. They were not happy with my new suggestions. Needless to say this casserole now has a permanent spot on my brunch menu.
Aside from my family, there are several ladies in the office who have been kind enough to serve as my test subjects for many of my recipes including this casserole. The first time I brought this dish into the office was kind of a fluke. I had a little bit leftover from brunch. I didn’t want to keep it in the house because it was too tempting. I wasn’t sure how well it would go over with them because it was simply leftover French Toast. I was not serving it to them as a full breakfast. It was just a small batch of leftovers. Once they smelled how inviting the scent of the French Toast was as if wafted through the office they began to get pretty excited. They went wild when they tasted the casserole. I know that part of it was the element of surprise of being given such a delectable treat but the other part was clearly based on how much they enjoyed eating it.
For the following three weeks one of the women in the office asked me every morning as I walked in if I was planning to make the casserole again. She was persistent. For various reasons I did not have it on the agenda. Right around the time she stopped asking for it I found some time to make another batch.
I made an entire batch just for them because they enjoyed it so much. I wanted to text them a pic of it while I was on my way to the office but decided to wait so I could see their faces. As soon as they arrived I told them I had a surprise for them. Before I could even finish the sentence one of the women started jumping up and down and squealing. I’m not kidding. She really started to jump up and down. There is nothing better than seeing someone react so positively to something you’ve made. She didn’t even stop to take off her jacket. She bolted right to the kitchen and dived in. Apparently this batch was even better than the first batch.
I’ve provided a detailed description under each of the photographs in an effort to ensure you can replicate exactly what I made. Several people have made this casserole and it did not turn out the same for them. I believe the secret to my success is making sure that each slice of bread is completely saturated with the egg mixture. The bread will turn out dry if you do not soak each slice. It is equally important to make sure you evenly pour the syrup mixture over the casserole but you can always correct any shortcomings on that issue with a side serving of some other type of syrup.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes.