This twist on my classic "best french toast ever recipe", takes breakfast to a whole new level! Perfect for a romantic breakfast in bed, Mother's Day surprise or special occasion, this not-so-ordinary breakfast is the ultimate indulgence. The best part is you can switch up the fruit filling to create any flavor combination you like. Even skip the fruit for a classic cheesecake stuffed french toast!
This recipe can be made with any type of bread you choose, however, thick slices of Challah or a thick texas toast is my absolute favorite. Just make sure it is not a fresh, moist loaf. Day old bread works better for french toast because it can absorb more of the custard. I added a little flour and sugar to thicken the classic french toast egg/milk custard, ensuring a crisp, never soggy french toast and a rich, melt in your mouth flavor. The addition of spices, vanilla and creamy fruit filling give the french toast an amazing complexity of flavors that really take this breakfast to the next level.
If you are using a fresh bread, it is best to let it sit out overnight to let it get a little "stale" and dried out for optimal absorption of the custard. You can also heat the bread at 200 degrees F in the oven/toaster oven for about 15 minutes while you prepare the custard. Slice a slit 3/4 the way down your slices of bread to create a pocket for the filling and spread on layers of filling!
Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast
Yield: Serves 3-4
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raspberry preserves/jam/jelly (or flavor of your choice)*
* May use 1 cup fresh raspberries mashed with 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8-10 thick slices of day old challah bread or texas toast
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup half and half (may substitute milk)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons butter flavored shortening, oil or butter, for greasing the pan
- Powdered sugar, fresh fruit and maple syrup for serving
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth for your cheesecake filling. Slice a slit, horizontally down the middle of each slice of bread, stopping about 1-inch before the end of the bread to keep it connected (this will create a "pocket" for your filling). Spread a layer of cheesecake filling and raspberry preserves on the inside slit of each slice of bread and gently press bread together.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well with a fork or whisk. Pour into a shallow casserole dish for dipping the bread.
Heat 1 tablespoon shortening, oil or butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat or preheated griddle, for every 2-3 slices of bread. (If using butter, be careful not to burn it, and try melting it on a lower heat.) Use remaining shortening, oil or butter for remaining bread.
Carefully and quickly, dip filled bread slices into egg mixture one at a time and place bread in hot skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat, on each side, or until lightly browned. Repeat for remaining filled bread slices.
Top with powdered sugar fresh fruit and maple syrup!