Recipe courtesy of The Brick House Cafe and Catering

Creme Brulee French Toast

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 1 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Nut Crust:

2 1/2 cups pecans

1 cup hazelnuts

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup dark corn syrup 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

One 5-ounce can evaporated milk 

Sauteed Pears:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pear, cored and sliced into thin wedges 

1/2 cup creme de cocoa liqueur

Fresh Whipped Cream:

3 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


6 large eggs

1/2 cup French vanilla creamer 

1/2 cup hazelnut liqueur 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Eight 1-inch-thick slices rustic country white or Italian bread

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. For the nut crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on separate baking sheets and toast until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  2. Rub the hazelnuts in a clean dishtowel to remove the skins. Allow the nuts to cool completely.
  3. Add the hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Add the pecans to the hazelnuts and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a plate.
  4. For the caramel sauce: Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, granulated sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while whisking frequently, especially as it gets close to boiling. Boil, whisking frequently, for 2 minutes. Let cool.
  5. For the sauteed pears: Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the pear and cook gently until lightly browned.
  6. Add the creme de cocoa, using caution as the liqueur may flame briefly and then go out as the alcohol burns off. Cook down until the sauce becomes thick, about 5 minutes.
  7. For the fresh whipped cream: Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  8. For the batter: Whisk together the eggs, creamer, hazelnut liqueur, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl.
  9. Dip 2 slices of the bread in the batter, turning to coat. Lay the battered bread on the nuts and coat both sides of each slice, pressing down firmly so they adhere. Repeat with the remaining bread.
  10. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add the coated bread and cook until crisp and golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  11. To plate: Place 2 pieces of French toast on each plate and top with some sauteed pears, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, whipped cream and more caramel sauce.