Baked Coffee Cake French Toast

I`m going to start this off with the fact that my dad loved this. He said it twice in the span of an hour. Did you know how happy I was when he said this?! VERY. My dad bakes and likes sweets, but he rarely likes anything I bake because it`s too sweet for his liking. Whenever any of my parents say they like something I make, I always take note.

So, I don`t know if this applies to other Asian families, but in my Chinese-mixed-Vietnamese family, compliments aren`t given frequently. Sure, there are some, such as when my sisters and I get straight “A”s in school or land a job, but it`s gotta be of some importance you know? Especially, my dad, who doesn`t compliment often. When he said this baked French toast was good, he didn`t say it looking at me, but at the food! Although, I must say, as the years have gone by since our childhood, this has changed. My mom and dad praises pretty often now. I bet it`s because they missed my sisters and I while we were in college! They even praise my parallel parking skills. Haha!

Anyhoo, whenever my dad says he likes something, I make sure to remember so I can bake it again in future for his birthday or Father`s Day. Which is coming up in a few weeks!! I`m already brainstorming of gift ideas and what to bake! I should just bake this again. 😉

Baked French Toast and bread pudding are basically the same thing with different names. This has a crumble topping, just like coffee cakes! I assure you, it`s not to be missed out on for breakfast. It`s super easy. The only thing is you must let the bread soak in all the goodness of the custard for at least 30 minutes. I had in the fridge overnight so I could simply bake and eat for brunch the next morning!

I don`t know if it`s just me, but I like eating bread pudding warm or cold. I guess I just love bread pudding so much, I like it either way.

Baked Coffee Cake French Toast
Adapted: Joy The Baker Cookbook  | Yields: 1 8x8in square pan | Level: Easy | Total Time: 45 minutes + at least 30 minutes chilling time
          1 ½ cup half and half
          1 teaspoon lemon juice
          1 tablespoon unsalted butter
          10 slices white sandwich bread, diagonally sliced in half
          4 large eggs
          1/3 cup granulated sugar
          ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
          ½ tablespoon bourbon
          2 tablespoon coffee milk
Crumble Topping:
          ¼ cup all purpose flour
          2 tablespoons brown sugar
          ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
          2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1.       Combine half and half with lemon juice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
2.       Melt butter in a bowl; pour into an 8×8 inch square pan. Grease bottom and sides well with butter.
3.       Arrange sandwich slices into pan, cut sides down, stacking each slice on top of each other slightly, like a fan.
4.       In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, butter, vanilla, bourbon, and coffee milk together.
5.       Pour milk mixture over bread slices. Gently press bread down to coat in milk mixture.
6.       Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes, to overnight.
7.       Preheat oven to 350°F.
8.       In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
9.       Using a pastry cutter, or back of a fork, cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form.
10.   Sprinkle on top of bread.
11.   Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden and inside is set.
12.   Serve with sprinkle of powdered sugar, maple syrup, or fruit.
          You can do 1 tablespoon of bourbon, or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, too.
          Coffee milk is a mixture of coffee and whole milk. It’s a Japanese drink I love, however, this can be omitted, or make a 1:1 ratio of milk and coffee.   
          This can be reheated in the microwave, if you have leftovers.