Dec 17, 2010

Lightened Up Crème Brûlée French Toast




A make-ahead baked French toast casserole with a sweet sugar-coated bottom, perfect for a Christmas morning breakfast.

This was a recipe make-over requested by one of my readers I was excited to tackle. The original recipe calls for a stick of butter, lots of eggs and half-and-half cream. Although this has been lightened up by removing the butter, replacing the cream with milk and most of the eggs with egg substitute, your guests will never know it. What's better than waking up with a house full of guests and having a no-fuss breakfast when you wake up. Serve this with fresh fruit to complete your table.

This uses a half loaf of challah bread, so you can easily double this and make two if you have more guests. And as an fyi, portions are pretty large, if you cut this into 8 pieces, it would be 7 points plus.


Lightened Up Crème Brûlée French Toast
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes 
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts

Calories: 310.9 • Fat: 5.6 g Carb: 59.9 g Fiber: 0.2 g Protein: 13.1 g
  • 1 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cooking spray
  • 10 oz Challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1-1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Meyers rum (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In a small heavy saucepan melt brown sugar and water over moderate-low heat, stirring, until smooth and melted, about 1 minute, then pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, egg substitute, milk, vanilla, rum, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.

Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 40 to 50 minutes.

Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar.



Recipe was modified from Gourmet's Crème Brûlée French Toast

106 comments :

  1. This looks great. Think I might make it for Christmas morning!

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    1. Looks great cant wait to try. Just wondered if it gets to soggy? I've had problems in the past with other casseroles.
      Thanks

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  3. Oh Gina...I am making this and a stratta for Xmas morning...my family should be happy! :) I usually make both anyway...but your French toast casserole looks so scrumptious...and I won't be forgetting the rum! lol

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  4. Yum!! I am so excited about this! We have breakfast at work every Friday and they make something like this that is just to die for! I have wanted to make it at home and I am so excited to have a healthier version now!! Hmm, I was going to do a Crock Pot bread pudding for a brunch on Sunday, I just might have to do this instead!

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  5. I just finished eating breakfast, but looking at these pictures....I could suddenly eat again!!! Thanks Gina, have a great day

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  6. The meyers rum just adds a little something to it! I love bread pudding, I'll be playing with a light version soon, I've never made one in my crock pot, maybe I'll experiment with that.

    Roz, it serves 6 big portions, and there are only two pieces missing, so it's been tempting me all morning!

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  7. The Crockpot Bread Pudding I was planning to do is actually on the WW website, under the Egg Beaters recipes.

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  8. What bread would you recommend substituting for challah? That's not a very common bread where I live.

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  9. I'm not familiar with Challah bread. Where would I look for it?

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  10. You can use a round country loaf in place of challah. French bread I'm sure would be good too.

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  11. wow this is much fancier than my french toast! I'm gonna have to buy some challah bread and give this a try! Your recipes makes me so excited about cooking healthy food

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  12. Gina, do you happen to have the calorie/fat/fiber, etc. counts on this one? I am counting calories and I didn't see it for this one....

    thank you,
    Andrea

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  13. Challah bread is a sweet braided bread, google it, you probably don't even realize they sell it by you. I bought mine in the supermarket, it's great for french toast and bread pudding.

    Sorry Andrea, I have to recalculate, the program crashed on this one. It was about 314 calories, but I'll recheck.

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  14. nice, must try it^^ thanks for sharing, wish you hv a nice weekend

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  15. OH I have to try it. I will try and see if they have challah bread here just kind of hard to get things out here in Hawaii. If not I guess french bread it shall be. Thanks for all your recipes.

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  16. Your recipes makes me so excited about cooking healthy food.Thanks for this recipe.

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  17. Hi Gina, can you tell me what Challah bread is? This looks awesome and I would love try it!

    Thank you so much for having this site, I have gotten so many wonderful recipes from you.

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  18. I just discovered your delight blog....it looks fun and potentially helpful But do you not post calorie counts? hmmmm

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  19. Yes, I do post calories, sadly the program crashed after I calculated this one, I will recalculate it.

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  20. Is it possible to use skim milk instead of 1%?

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  21. I've had the original of this recipe while staying at a B&B and it was amazing. I can't wait to try this one!

    -Stephanie

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  22. Thanks, Gina....I appreciate you so much!

    Andrea

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  23. You're welcome, and Stephanie, let me know what you think.

    I'm sure it's possible to make this with skim, I just haven't tested it so I'm not sure if it would change this at all. If you try, let me know. The points remain the same.

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    1. Gina, I've made it with skim and it tastes great. I have also had the original version, and this tastes very similar to me! I thought it was a perfect substitute! I would never have known the butter was missing if I didn't make it myself. :)

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  24. Thanks for sharing! This will be an awesome dish to make over the holidays =)

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  25. If you substituted the Splenda Brown sugar would that reduce the points at all? I will be trying this for Christmas! Thank you so much!!

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  26. Gina, I love your website. It is becoming my go-to for healthy recipes. I plan on trying this with Hawaiian bread for Christmas morning. Yum!

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  27. Just had this French Toast this morning .... it was amazing! Easy-peasy to throw together last night and the results were delicious! Hard to believe this is "diet" food - so much flavor! Thanks for reworking all of these recipes to make them light - you're the best! Happy Holidays to you!

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  28. what would the measurements be for using agave nectar and soy milk? i'm also not worried about points, how many eggs is 1 cup of egg substitute? i can't wait to try it for new years day brunch. thanks.

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  29. This Christmas sponsored by GINA! Pumpkin banana bread for xmas eve, just had this AMAZING breakfast and tonight, your chicken divan. Thank you SO MUCH for all the great recipes - I feel like I'm splurging but staying on plan and still losing weight. My husband couldn't believe this was a "weight watchers" recipe! You're a life saver! (Also I substituted whole wheat sandwich bread because I didn't want to go out shopping with the crowds... worked just fine!)

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  30. This was absolutely delicious! Also made your yummy pumpkin dip for snacks throughout the day. Thanks, Gina!

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  31. I'm so happy you all enjoyed this!! This will be a staple in my house now! Great to hear it worked with whole wheat bread.

    Sorry, I was away for the Holidays. Best way to figure out 1 cup of real eggs is to crack the eggs into a measuring cup and stop when you reach on cup.

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  32. Just wondering if this has to be made in advance? or what happens if I don't let it sit for 8 hours?

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  33. Hi Gina,
    We made this for Christmas morning breakfast and the flavor of it was wonderful! Any tips for kitchen amateurs on cooking it so that the bottom isn't soggy? Thanks! Huge fan of your blog!!

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  34. Hi Gina! I'm a new visitor to your site, and I love it. I made your French toast for Christmas morning and the family loved it. Thanks for posting this. The other day I made the turkey meatloaves and the roasted broccoli rape. Amazing! No complaints around the dinner table. That in itself is a miracle! Thanks again for these recipes! :)

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  35. This is amazing! We included you on our Tasty Tuesday – Welcoming 2011 with a New Year’s Brunch http://bit.ly/ifHNlm and added you to our blogroll! I am going to use your wonderful recipes to help keep my new year healthy! thank you! Great blog!

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  36. It's meant to sit overnight, but not sure what happens if you don't wait.

    Mine wasn't soggy at the bottom, but since all ovens vary, maybe increasing the heat in the oven slightly.

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  37. Gina I made this for Christmas breakfast. It was yummy, quite a hit. I plan to make it again this week. I made it with french bread since I didn't find challah bread.

    Terry

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  38. I made this on Christmas morning; forgot to let it sit in the fridge overnight. It was fantastic! I made it with Challah bread. My parents who came down from Michigan to visit us in Texas loved it! Thank you :)

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  39. I have made this both ways (the morning of and the night before). If it doesn't sit very long the bread doesn't soak up the liquid and it's less moist. It is still fine to do in a pinch but really is better when done overnight.

    Also, if you like your french toast crispier, you can put this under the broiler for a few minutes (as I did on Christmas morning when I accidentally baked it with the foil ON ).

    French or Italian loaf bread work great and I have heard it is good with King's Hawaiian Bread but not sure how that would change the points. I've also had it with the bread cubed instead of sliced which makes it a bit more like a spoon bread.

    Thanks again for making this over, Gina. I am going to make and take it to a day after New Year's brunch on Sunday.

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  40. Gina, thanks for this recipe....I made this for Christmas morning and both DH and I thought it was AWESOME! I get to make it again for New Year's morning and it has become one of our new holiday traditions.

    DH makes the Challah bread in the breadmaker, and I assemble the rest and bake it in the morning. It works perfect for us!

    Thanks again,
    Andrea

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  41. DH and I made this for breakfast this morning. Just as good as the original that we had at that B&B. Very good!

    We let the bread stale out, so it was a bit stacked. It still worked out well.

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  42. I made this again for New Years, topped it with sauteed bananas, yum!

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  43. This was super, Gina! Very decadent. I found a loaf of whole wheat challah to use and my sweetheart (guinea pig) could'nt believe it wasn't insanely fattening. Thanks!

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  44. Ali Shinnick1/5/11, 11:44 AM

    I intended to make this for New Year's Day but couldn't find challah bread in time. I found the challah bread yesterday, so I made it last night and we had it this morning. AAAAMAZING!!!! This was so so good. When I first saw that only 6 slices of bread filled up the dish, I thought, "bummer.... there's no way one slice will fill me up" but I was so wrong. It's been over an hour since we ate it and I am still stuffed! I also assumed I'd need maple syrup... again, wrong! I think maple syrup would be overkill... it was perfect as-is!
    Also, I used skim milk instead of 1%, but made everything else as written (including the rum!). It was perfection. My husband loved it too. Thank you Gina!

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  45. Very filling Ali!! And yes, it's sweet, really doesn't need anything more.

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  46. All I can say is OMG. Four recipes this weekend and I'm definitely a skinnytaste.com fan!

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  47. Oh my goodness...this is so yummy! I can't believe it's a skinny recipe. My kids were out of school today, so I made this for them, and they thought they were in heaven.

    BTW, I used the whites from six eggs to get one cup, so that would be the equivalent to 1 cup of egg subsitute. Also, I used skim milk and rum extract (1/2 tsp) and it worked just fine.

    Thanks for this yummy recipe!

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  48. I don't have 1%, only skim. I also have half n half. So I was wondering if I used mostly skim milk and then added a little half n half in place of the rest of the milk, would that help the taste not be sacrificed too much?

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  49. This is delicious! I meant to make it last night but forgot and whipped it up without waiting the 8 hours. It was fabulous but I think it would've been better if I waited since it was more moist at the bottom than at the top. Oh and I didn't have rum so I used Nocello which is an almond liquer.

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  50. Anna, should be fine!

    Emily, def better making the night before!

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  51. The flavor was wonderful on this! Truly delicious! However, mine was very soggy, its texture being more like bread pudding than french toast. I tried cooking it longer, but I had to take it out, because it was getting dark golden on the top. Bottoms still extremely soggy. :(

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  52. I'm not sure is it possible you used less bread?
    It does come out moist but that is what I like about it, not sure if you just prefer a dryer French toast or if something was different.

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  53. I made this Christmas morning and it was yummy! I did use all eggs because I didn't feel like getting the egg beaters and had tons of eggs in the house. I did end up using a loaf of Italian bread because I was NOT thinking and went grocery shopping Christmas Eve and they were out of so much at Walmart. I like someone's idea of using Hawaiian bread to make this. I did add a little bit of lite syrup on top of mine but wish next time if I add syrup, I will reduce the brown sugar some. Very yummy! Thanks again!

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  54. No, I didn't use less bread. I did, however, use 1 and a half cup of milk, but the recipe says 1-1/2, so I didn't think it mattered. French toast is supposed to be moist, I know, but the bottom was more like porridge. The flavor really was top-notch, though, and I love that I didn't need to add any extra sweetness to it! I just wish the texture had been better. I guess next time I'll just use one cup of milk. I really don't see how anyone would be happy with the texture I got, so maybe it shouldn't be 1 and half cup. That's all I got.

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  55. 1 1/2 cups was right and I made it a few times, even in disposable metal tins and it worked out perfect, but yes, it shouldn't be mush so maybe using less milk would resolve this next time.

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  56. I made this again using less milk and also setting the temperature a bit higher. It only needed to cook for 25 minutes or so. The texture was better. Flavor still phenomenal! SO DELICIOUS! Here's my only concern: I put it into a recipe calculator, and it said that one serving has FORTY grams of sugar!!! Please tell me that's wrong!!!

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  57. I'm sorry. Correction: 37 grams. That's still astronomical. Surely we could halve the sugar maybe. Tastewise, this is perfection, and I'm sure I have no doubt it's healthier than the original recipe, but because I ate this this morning, I'm now 12 grams over my sugar allowance, and it's only noon! I should've checked on the sugar count first...Personally, I think it could be less sweet and still be really good!

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  58. Anna, it's 27.2 grams of sugar per serving. Of course, everyone has their own dietetic needs, so if you have diabetes, you could always replace with Splenda brown sugar, or use less to taste. That's the beauty of cooking your own meals, you can adjust the recipe to your taste and needs. I personally am not a fan over very sweet food, and I think this is perfect.

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  59. Hmm, I don't understand how we got a 10 gram difference! I just doublechecked the recipe I put into myfitnesspal.com's calculator and it's correct. I know sometimes different brands of things have different counts, but a 10 gram difference is a lot! The only thing that seems like it could be suspicious is I put in Trader Joe's traditional challah bread loaf--0.5 loaf, and it says for the entire half loaf it's 25 grams of sugar. Seems like a lot. I know challah is a little sweet, but does that sound right to you? I ask because I don't have a lot of experience with challah. I actually got it from the Fresh Market, and it doesn't have nutrition facts on it, unfortunately. But I figured all challah loafs are similar...

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  60. Hi Anna, is your brown sugar packed or unpacked in myfitnesspal? That would make a difference. It should be unpacked. Other things can vary depending on brands, but it's probably the brown sugar.

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  61. Actually, I didn't see an option to select packed or unpacked, so I just assumed that if it said neither, it meant unpacked. I might have overlooked it, though, because there are tons of entries in there! I'll doublecheck. Thanks! :)

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  62. One of my friends on MFP found the entry that specified unpacked for brown sugar, yay! So yes, the sugar count you gave me is correct! My mistake, sorry! Phew. I feel slightly better about eating this (at least on special occasions)...which is good because it's so delicious! :)

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  63. This recipe looks delicious- I can't wait to try!

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  64. I love making delicious, comforting breakfasts in the morning! I'd love to make this! You should consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Breakfast Casserole Recipe Contest! You could win a whole bunch of things from Melitta Coffee!

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  65. Thanks Gina! I made this yesterday for a large pot luck breakfast and it was super good. It was so easy to prepare. I love how you make it in advance and just have to pop it in the oven the morning of. I made some changes in the ingredients...but this was a great recipe to work with! THUMBS UP!!

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  66. I'm a cook and although I don't have a problem with sugar I do with Fat so I'm always revising recipes to make them delicious but low in fat and total caloric count. I will be using Splenda,Fat Free half & half,Egg substitute & French bread. Will be taking this to a friends house and I will post back on how it was received!!

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  67. I would like to make this and your broccoli/cheese mini egg omelets for Easter. My question is can both be made ahead and frozen so I can re-heat them on Sunday morning. I will not have a lot of time that morning to do everything then. Thanks!

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  68. I haven't made this then frozen it, so I'm not sure how the results would be. If you do, please let me know how it turns out. Hopefully it won't be dry.

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  69. This looks unbelievable!!!

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  70. While it smelled unbelievable while baking and actually had a good flavor, I had a few big problems with this dish. When I took it out of the refrigerator this morning, I noticed there was still quite a bit of excess egg mixture in the dish so I tried to pour some of it off. I baked it for 50 minutes...it puffed up as described and was a nice golden brown on top. It looked amazing. But when I cut into it, it was very mushy and soupy. I put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. I also had a very hard time getting it out of the dish, despite having sprayed it. We ate some of the crusty edges, but the center was too gooey and basically inedible. Not sure what I did wrong? I will try again and maybe reduce the egg/milk mixture and try baking at a higher temperature.

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  71. Made this for our Easter block party and it was a huge hit! I used french bread, and left off the powdered sugar and cinnamon it was delicious without it.

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  72. My mother in law made this recipe for Easter brunch and the men in our family were literally fighting for every last piece, they couldn't get enough of it! Such a delicious recipe and I loved knowing how many points I was eating! Thanks Gina, your fantastic!

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  73. Can you use whole wheat bread for this? I hardly ever buy white bread, even challah

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  74. I can't decide between this and the bananas fosters french toast to make for mothers day, both are amazing!

    Kim, sure I don't see why not as long as it's a nice crusty bread.

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  75. I made this over the weekend and it was so easy to make and so yummy! I love how it only took 10 minutes to prep and then I could just pop it into the oven and get other things done. As a mom with a toddler this means more playtime with him instead of cooking in the kitchen. This will be my new go to breakfast recipe. Thanks!

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  76. I prepared this last night and its in my fridge now. I plan to bake it in a few hours but I'm a little worried because there is so much liquid left in the dish. Based on other comments, I will try to dump the excess and maybe cook it at a higher temperature. Hopefully it will be okay. I followed the recipe exactly but is it supposed to look soupy before you bake and will it absorb??

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  77. It should be fine as long as you followed the recipe exact.

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  78. My fiance and I have Breakfast for Dinner on Friday nights. This week, I decided to prepare this recipe without ever having tasted the original version of the recipe.

    It was a HIT! And - SHHH! - my fiance has a severe aversion to anything diet ...

    Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe.

    Now, on to try your other recipes. =)

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  79. Oh my god, that looks marvelous.

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  80. HeatherJOnes12/28/11, 4:14 PM

    Thank you for making our Christmas morning a hit with this wonderful breakfast, not only did it taste great but it made the whole house smell great.

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  81. Hey there! I absolutely adore this dish. But, my bread was a little soggy at the bottom. Did I do something wrong? (I used the Hawaiian bread)

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  82. Absolutely amazing! I halved the recipe and used sheepherders bread but it still turned out perfect. I'm not a baker (at all!) so this was a triumph! Thanks Gina! I can't wait to try more of your recipes.

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  83. Love this so much! I'm making it for some company coming over. We're having a skinnytaste week! I try to cook as much from your blog as possible for my family to prove that healthy eating can be delicious! I froze some leftovers that my husband and I had and it was great. Just warmed it up in the microwave and instant breakfast!

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  84. Has this been done in a crock pot before?

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  85. This was DELICIOUS! I made this for brunch with my friends. Thank you!

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  86. Gina I made this over the weekend and I can't stop eating it! I used Splenda brown sugar and thickly sliced whole wheat bread and it is still delicious! I keep sneaking left over pieces. It would have definitely been more decadent with the challah bread but I would have probably eaten the whole thing in a day then.

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  87. Do you think subbing vanilla soy milk would work with this recipe?

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  88. Absolutely delicious! And so easy. I had a lot of apples to use up, so I sauteed Granny Smith apples and put those on top. This will be our Christmas morning breakfast this year. - AmyF

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  89. This was amazing! I incorrectly read that one serving was 1/16 of the pan, but I think even that would be worth the 9 points plus! This is so easy and so delicious. I used challah rolls from Whole Foods, and it worked out great because each piece was in a small square. Thank you for this one!

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  90. YUM that is all I can say about this!! My kids and I ate it and didn't leave any for my husband!! It's sooooo good!!

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  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  92. Oh my gosh... made this yesterday, cooked for brunch this morning. It was TO DIE FOR amazing. Paired with some fresh berries and cool whip. One piece was very filling for me. My husband opted for two pieces and is not totally stuffed! lol. So sweet, crisp on top, warm and soft in the centre. Definitely look for challah bread (egg bread), most grocery stores carry it and I presume it wouldn't taste quite the same without it. We will be making this for weekend, brunch, Christmas, any other holiday. SO GOOD!!!

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    1. So glad you liked it, we love this too on special occasions!!

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  93. I am not really sure which is better, this or the bananas foster french toast but these are some of my favorite Skinnytaste recipes EVER.

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  94. What's the purpose of the egg substitute?

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  95. If you don't have egg substitute can you use egg whites?

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  96. Gina, can I substitute the milk with almond milk? Thanks!

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    1. I've made this a couple of times and used almond milk. No problems whatsoever! :)

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  97. I posted this to FB as here I am, three years in a row, making this for Christmas morning breakfast. I will make it on Christmas eve, pop it in the oven first thing, and by the time we're done opening gifts, this will be waiting.

    I've followed your site for 4 years and have probably made 5 dozen of your recipes and many have become staples, like this one, in my rotation.

    Merry, merry Christmas and thank you for all that you do to keep us on point.

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  98. I've made this recipe a few times now and found the following are great additions: almond extract instead of rum (if you're avoiding alcohol), and golden raisin challah instead of plain (it was all my bakery had in stock on two occasions). Today was the first time I only did the prep 3 hours ahead, for a brunch, and it still turned out great!

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  99. The challah bread I bought comes in rolls. Should I half them (a thinner layer) or put the whole roll in the pan to be smothered in the egg mixture?

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  100. I just stumbled upon this the other day, and totally didn't think to read the comments before I went shopping. I had no clue what Challah bread was, but saw a blog using Ezekiel Bread for baked french toast. I ended up buying cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, so fingers crossed that it turns out well!

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