Crème Brulée French Toast with Molasses Ice Cream from DeJuan Roy, executive chef of Alhambra Theatre and Dining
½ c. (one stick) unsalted butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. corn syrup
Eight- to nine-inch loaf of challah bread
5 large eggs
1 ½ c. half-and-half
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
Cinnamon and powdered sugar to garnish
1. Melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat in a small, heavy saucepan, stirring until smooth. Pour mixture into a baking dish.
2. Cut thick slices from the center portion of the challah bread, reserving the ends aside, and trim the crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in the baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, baking powder and salt until combined well. Pour evenly over bread.
4. Chill the bread mixture, covered, for at least eight hours and up to one full day.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread to room temperature. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until the bread puffs and the edges are pale golden (approximately 35-40 minutes).
6. Serve hot French toast immediately with a scoop of ice cream on top. Garnish with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
Yields 7 servings