Don’t you love having dessert for breakfast? At Le Comptoir, in Williamsburg, chef-owner Sebastien Chamaret has been serving his French Toast Crème Brûlée since he opened the restaurant last year. He shares his recipe for the ever-popular dish and explains just how it came to be.
“When I was growing up, my mother would make dessert every day,” says Chamaret. “One of her favorites was apple bread pudding, but I didn’t care too much for cooked apples and would eat only the bread part. When I began making my own bread pudding, I left out the apples but did keep her very rich custard, which is just like crème brûlée. I also switched to brioche or challah bread instead of country bread and it became a French toast.”
Le Comptoir’s French Toast Crème Brûlée
4 thick slices of challah bread or brioche
8 egg yolks
2/3 cups sugar
dash vanilla extract
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons melted butter
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract, then add the heavy cream to make a custard. Soak the sliced bread in the custard for at least an hour (overnight is even better).
Coat 4 ramekins with melted butter, then place one soaked bread slice in each ramekin. Pour the custard equally over the bread in each dish. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet or roasting tray, and add water to the tray to make a water bath.
In an oven preheated to 250°F, bake for 45 minutes. You can enjoy the French toast right out of the oven or store it in the fridge (it will keep for few days), and reheat it at 300°F for 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite fresh berries, and a dusting of powdered sugar.