Don’t be mad at me.
This is what happens when I get hungry. I was trying to come up with breakfast recipes while methodically popping Quin's Turtle Caramels into my mouth.
“Hmmm…french toast. I love french toast. Gosh, these caramels are so good. Whoa… Turtle French Toast. Can I do that? I mean, is it even allowed? Yeah, I can totally do that. I better eat the remainder of this bag of caramels for research. Yes, it’s definitely necessary. It’s for my readers.”
And that is how all of this beautiful, sticky, caramel wonderfulness came about
I am not one of those foodies who likes to cram as many sweet, gooey, over-the-top ingredients into a recipe just for the shock and awe factor. I do not find that impressive or appetizing. Cloyingly sweet is not my style.
However, I do not have any qualms with layering ingredients if each one contributes something unique and they produce a well balanced final product.
This recipe is completely over-the-top. It’s utterly decadent. And, quite honestly, rather ostentatious, but it is also absolutely incredible. And though it is undoubtably sweet, it’s not overly so — the bitter chocolate mingles with the sweetness of the caramel, and the pecans provide texture. It is, if I may say so, perfection.
As I was taking these pictures I was secretly envying the Challah bread, as I wanted to soak in a hot tub of caramel and pecans. I’ve been fantasizing about a caramel hot tub ever since. Putting that on the bucket list!
Challah bread is a wonderful place to begin. The dense, yet airy nature of the bread will help it hold up to soaking. The combination of frying and baking gives this french toast and incredible texture. The frying provides a crispy exterior while the baking allows the toast to soak in the caramel and keeps the inside soft, and custardy.
Even though this recipe appears somewhat involved, it is actually pretty simplistic. After you get the french toast in the oven you can brew the coffee and pour the orange juice. I actually found that I prefer this frying + baking method because, it allows everyone to have their toast at the same time without anyone getting stuck with a cold, limp piece of toast. I am going to file this in my metaphorical “breakfasts to make when I have company” folder.
Oh yes! You should definitely garnish this gorgeous mess with a spoonful of whipped cream. Game over.
Gotta go, I have more “research” to do. Bye!
Turtle Challah French Toast
makes 3 large pieces
A word on serving.
I used a very large loaf of Challah bread for this recipe so my slices of bread were about 1 inch in thickness and about 7 inches wide. I sliced each piece in half, giving me six pieces about 3 1/2 inches in length. Depending on your appetite, 1 piece is a fair serving. However, this recipe can easily be doubled if you are serving a larger party.
for the caramel sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
french toast and assembly
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large slices Challah bread, about 1-inch in thickness
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 recipe caramel sauce
- whipped cream, optional
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a high-sided baking dish, whisk eggs until the yolks and whites are homogenous. Slowly whisk in milk and vanilla extract.
Place the slices of Challah bread into the egg mixture and allow them to soak for five minutes before flipping each slice and soaking for an additional five minutes on the opposite side. When the toast has finished soaking, almost all of the liquid in the pan should be gone.
Place a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat and coat with a bit of unsalted butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the toast and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the toast is deep golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside until all the toast has finished cooking.
In a small frying pan, toast pecans over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Fill an oven-safe, high-sided baking dish with 1/2 of the prepared caramel sauce and 1/2 of the toasted pecans. Place the french toast into the caramel and then cover with 1/2 of the remaining caramel (1/4 of the original amount), chocolate, and the remaining pecans.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling and the chocolate has melted. Serve immediately with remaining caramel and a bit of whipped cream. Enjoy!