6 Slices Brioche bread, cubed and toasted
1 Cup Blueberries
4 Oz. Light cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Skim milk
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 Cup Swerve brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon to finish
Sugar Free Maple Syrup to serve
Fresh blueberries to serve
1/2 Cup Swerve brown sugar
1/4 Cup All-purpose flour
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Hazelnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp. Butter, cut into small pieces
2) Cut your brioche bread into one inch cubes. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing once too lightly toast and dry out. Remove from oven and let cool.
3) Spray a casserole dish (9 x 7 inches) with cooking spray. Add about 1/2 of the bread to the baking dish. Top with 1/2 of the blueberries and about half of the cream cheese. Just dollop the cream cheese in teaspoon size mounds over the berries and bread. Add the other 1/2 of the bread, blueberries and cheese on top of the first layer.
4) In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the prepared bread and berry mixture in the casserole dish. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
9) Zest lemon on top of each slice. Serve with warm, sugar-free maple syrup and fresh blueberries. Enjoy.
NOTES: My Brioche French Toast Casserole has been lightened up considerably making this a lighter version that has eliminated most of the extra sugar and a lot of the saturated fat. Don’t worry, I left in that delicious brioche bread, which is the star of the dish, and all the flavor. This dish will not disappoint. If you like french toast, be sure to try some of my other versions like my Crunchy Overnight French Toast and my Barmbrack French Toast (made with leftover Irish bread…yum!).
Don’t let the time on the recipe discourage you. This overnight brioche french toast, spends most of the time in the fridge. The actual prep time is fast and while it bakes, you can be setting the table, making coffee and enjoying the anticipation of one satisfying brunch.
I start by drying out my brioche bread. I cut the slices into large cubes and put them on a baking sheet to bake for about 20 minutes to dry them out and toast them up. Alternatively, you could just cut the bread up and leave on the kitchen counter overnight to dry OR start with stale bread.
Once the bread is cooled, I start preparing the casserole. I layer the bread with blueberries and teaspoon size dollops of the cream cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature. It will make this a lot easier to work with. You can do this in two or three layers depending on the size of your dish. Mine just took two layers.
You’ll then want to make your egg custard. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the freshly grated nutmeg. Yes, you can substitute ground nutmeg you find in the spice aisle. I just like grating my own. I find it has an amazing flavor when freshly grated. Pour the custard over the prepared casserole and cover the dish tightly with tinfoil. You’ll keep this in the refrigerator overnight so the bread can soak up the egg custard.
The next morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating, prepare your topping by mixing the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Add the chopped butter pieces and with the back of a fork, smash the butter into the sugar and flour mixture to create crumbles. Stir in the nuts. Then, sprinkle the crumbled topping all over the top of the casserole.
Spray the top of the casserole with cooking spray to help brown the top and put in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour. Check at 45 minutes to make sure the top isn’t burning. If it is too dark, cover with foil. The french toast casserole with brioche is ready when the center no longer jiggles and the casserole is cooked through.
Let the french toast casserole sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. If you serve four, the servings are quite large. I typically serve six with this dish but you decide. I like to zest lemon over the top and serve with warm syrup and more fresh berries.
As with all my recipes, feel free to use full fat milk and cream cheese, and real maple syrup and brown sugar. You won’t hurt my feelings. I just feel better knowing I can cut out those excess calories without sacrificing on flavor. Enjoy.
I know you are going to love this recipe. If you want to try some of my other brunch recipes, here are some of my favorites:
Lemon Brioche French Toast with Whipped Ricotta and Raspberries
Ham and Cheese Brioche Muffins
Eggs Benedict with Blender Hollandaise & Waffles