Croissant French Toast Casserole + my blog 2 – year anniversary

 

French Toast

Today happens to be Valentine’s Day, so if you haven’t already given chocolates or red roses to your special person, here’s an alternative: Croissant French Toast Casserole. These buttery croissants are filled with lemon-flavored cream cheese and are sure to warm your sweetheart’s heart at breakfast.

Make them the day before and pop them in the oven and serve the next day. You can have them plain or top with a delicious blueberry compote. They’re not only great for breakfast, we also served these for dessert after serving chilli for dinner.

Today also happens to be my second blog anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed and how rewarding it has been. The most rewarding experience has been meeting new people through blogging and the support and encouragement you have given me over the years.

When I first started out blogging, only 1 or 2 people would visit my blog each day, and sometimes I had no visits at all (how sad)! Now I am visited by many people each day and it is so rewarding. So THANK YOU!!

 Here is my very first blog post: Easy Chocolate Fondant Cake

Chocolate-Fondant-Food Gawker

 And here is my post on my first blogging anniversary: French Crab Bisque Soup

Crab Bisque

 And now for the Croissant French Toast Casserole recipe: (adapted from Our Best Bites):

Ingredients

  • 5 – 6 Croissants
  • 1  8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered (icing) sugar, divided
  • juice and zest from two lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

For the Blueberry Compote:

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

 Directions

  •  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the powdered icing sugar and the juice and zest from one lemon. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Croissant 1

  •  Slice each croissant in half lengthwise using a serrated bread knife. Spread some of the creamed cheese mixture on the bottom half of each croissant.

Croissant

  •  Replace the tops and then slice the croissants in halves or thirds.

French Toast

  • Arrange the pieces evenly in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.

French Toast

  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, juice and zest of the second lemon and the remaining 1/2 cup of powered sugar. Pour the mixture evenly over the croissants, cover with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
  • When ready to serve, pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Bake covered with foil for about 20 minutes (fan-forced oven) or 30 minutes convection oven. Remove foil and let bake for another 10 minutes or until the croissants turn golden brown on top.
  • Serve plain or with blueberry compote.
  • To make the blueberry compote: Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.

 French Toast

French Baked Donuts

 Donuts Are you like me- hesitant to make donuts- afraid even to try? Making every excuse to avoid working with the ‘moody’ yeast dough and the messy deep-frying that leaves splashes of oil all over your kitchen walls?

Well, have I got a recipe for you! There’s no yeast involved and no deep-frying; these ‘donuts’ are baked and will be ready in no time. In fact, I ‘invented’ this recipe quite by accident and I’ve named it French Baked Donuts.

Today I was practicing making profiteroles for one of my upcoming cooking classes (see my post profiteroles). I was making choux pastry (or puff shells) for the profiteroles that would be filled with custard and topped with chocolate sauce. Instead, the choux pastry turned out too runny and gloopy.

What to do now? Quick thinking – pour the runny dough into ramekins or custard dishes, place a dollop of strawberry jam in the middle and bake for about 15 minutes. The result? The dough puffs up and around the jam, looking like you just made yourself a delicious donut.

Here’s the recipe:

 Ingredients (makes about 6 donuts)

Choux Pastry

  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 80 g butter, cubed
  • 150 g (1 cup) sifted flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 medium or large eggs

     Garnish

  • 2 tbsp. strawberry jam (or other flavour)
  • icing (confectioner’s) sugar

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. (180 C.)
  2. Combine water and butter in a saucepan and bring just to the boil.
  3. Remove pan from the heat. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. In one go, add these dry ingredients to the water/butter mixture.
  4. Over medium heat, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough and falls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Dough falling away from sides of pan
  6. Beat in one egg at a time, stirring in each egg until the dough mixture is completely smooth. After the 4 eggs have been beaten in, the dough should be smooth and rather runny.
  7. Pour the mixture about 2 inches high into 6 ramekins or custard bowls. Drop about 2 tablespoons of jam or chocolate into the center of each ramekin.
  8. Donuts with jam in center
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes until the dough doubles in size. Let cool and dust with icing sugar.

 Baked Donuts

 Yes, I like my donuts ….