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Lunchbreak: French toast casserole and other time saving holiday entertaining tips, prepared by Blue Plate Catering chef Randal Jacobs

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Chef Randal Jacobs

Blue Plate Catering
1362 W. Fulton Street
Chicago
(312) 421-6666
blueplatechicago.com/

French Toast Casserole
Yield: One 9 X 12 baking pan (approximately 15 servings)

Ingredients:
as needed butter, softened (for spreading on bread)
1 loaf Brioche, crust trimmed, thick slices
3 oz. golden raisins
1 oz, candied orange peel, minced
1 oz. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 oz. granulated sugar
2 each whole eggs, fresh
8 oz. heavy cream
24 oz. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 oz. brown sugar, to sprinkle on top

Directions:
Using a brush, butter the bread on one side, then stack and cut into 1 X 1 cubes. Combine bread with raisins, candied orange peel and gently toss and place into a pan (do not pack). In a mixing bowl, combine 1 oz. sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the bread mixture. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, cream, milk and vanilla paste to make the custard base. Pour custard base over the panned bread and dust the top with brown sugar. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 320F for 50-60 minutes. Remove the foil and finish baking until the top is golden brown.

Hand Shaked Whipped Cream
Yields about 4 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
4 Tbs granulated sugar

Directions:
Pour heavy whipping cream into a quart mason jar and seal the lid. Shake jar until cream becomes whipped. Once whipped, add sugar and continue to shake so the sugar incorporates into the cream. If you plan to use any flavorings, such as extracts, liqueurs, or spices, add them with the sugar step.