A rad recipe for croissant French toast on the menu today!
It is along the lines of a croissant French toast bake, but can easily be prepared in the more traditional way. You are in the driver’s seat when it comes to which way to go.
And – you can infuse it with raspberry flavor and stuff it with fresh raspberries.
We achieved the former with the help of an unbelievably fragrant raspberry ale (we couldn’t help ourselves, as soon as we tasted the ale we knew it’d be perfect). The latter we did in celebration of peak raspberry season which happens to be right about now.
What You Need to Make Croissant French Toast
You will be pleased to learn that the following ingredients are all it takes to prepare this easy dish.
- butter croissants (bakery-bought or home-baked)
- heavy cream
- raspberry ale (see below for more details) or milk as a substitute
- brown sugar
- fresh raspberries
- vanilla extract (if using milk in lieu of raspberry ale)
- maple syrup and fresh mint for garnish
You could actually skip the maple syrup and not even miss it. I vouch for this even though Chris is rather reluctant to give up his.
By way of equipment you really just need a baking dish (a rounded shape is helpful considering the shape of croissants) and your oven. Or a non-stick pan if you prefer to cook your toast following the traditional approach.
How to Make Croissant French Toast
Watch the recipe video below for a visual of the exact steps involved in putting together this very easy and equally scrumptious breakfast favorite.
As noted, this version of the recipe is along the lines of a French toast casserole with croissants, but if you wanted to use a pan and simply prepare a couple of servings our recipe card also provides instructions for the stove top.
Scroll down for useful serving tips and suggestions.
This recipe for croissant French toast casserole can easily be modified for stove top pan preparation. It is also infinitely customizable in that the fruit for the stuffing can be varied as well as the garnishes.
- 8-10 medium-sized butter croissants
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup raspberry ale or milk
- 2 tbsp butter cut in 10 small pieces
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- 4 tbsp brown sugar divided
- 1 tsp vanilla (only if using milk)
Turn the oven on to 350 F.
Slice the croissants lengthwise in half.
Beat the eggs, add the heavy cream and beat again. Add the raspberry ale or milk and beat to incorporate. Set the custard aside.
Arrange the bottom halves of the croissants in appropriately sized round shaped baking dish or cast iron skillet. Place the butter pieces on top distributing evenly. Sprinkle half the brown sugar evenly. Add the raspberries evenly. Pour half the custard.
Arrange the top halves of the croissant on top. Pour the remaining custard and press with your hands until the croissants have soaked it all up. Sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar.
Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300 F and bake for another 15-20 minutes. You may tent with tin foil for the last 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
TRADITIONAL STOVE TOP METHOD
Partially slit each croissant lengthwise in the middle, just enough to stuff it with a piece of butter, couple of raspberries and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Press to 'seal' the slit edge. Mix custard as outlined above.
Heat a lightly oiled pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Drench each croissant in custard until soaked on both sides and carefully place in the pan. Cook each side until golden brown. Serve.
It is very helpful to dry out the croissants prior to using them. If possible, leave them overnight out on the counter covered with a breathable kitchen towel. Dried out they will absorb the custard better.
You can substitute the raspberry ale and fresh raspberries with a different flavor fruit beer and different fruit.
If using milk in lieu of fruit beer, add vanilla to the custard.
Serving size assumes 2 croissants per person.
About the Raspberry Ale
Using fruit flavored ales in French toasts and other popular baked breakfast items is one of our favorite ways to incorporate craft beer as a flavoring agent. (For more ideas check out this post on Beer for Breakfast.) Besides, craft beer is outstanding in a variety of recipes that involve baking and leavening.
In the case of this croissant French toast recipe we really hit the jackpot with a vibrant blonde ale flavored with heaps and heaps of real, from the bush raspberries. It is brewed by a local Colorado brewery and was sent to us free of charge. It is one of their flagship brews, available on a rotating basis.
4 Noses Brewing Bareback Raspberry Blonde Ale unapologetically captures the aromas and flavor of peak raspberry season. Even the color! At its core it is a well balanced, crisp, easy drinking blonde ale. Hints of sweetness and tartness, but mainly raspberry essence come from a fermentation with the fresh fruit. With ABV 6.3% and IBU 11 it finishes very dry which we both liked. A pleasure to drink and just the flavor bomb to infuse French toast custard with.
So we did.
Recipe Twists & Serving Suggestions
This is the really fun part. If you, like us, have a soft spot for French toast in general and its croissant incarnation in particular I’m willing to bet that you have ideas floating around your mind.
Using a fruit ale such as the Bareback Raspberry Blonde and fresh raspberries is one amazing way to go about it, we dare your to try. Fortunately, there are many more. Think about all of these options:
- Change the fruit beer and fruit – the explosion of creativity of today’s craft beer creators has resulted in some amazing fruit beers. Use a peach ale and diced fresh peaches, or a strawberry ale and strawberries with some basil, a tropical fruit oriented hazy NEIPA and mango, chocolate stout and chocolate chips and walnuts, hefeweizen and bananas… Need I write more? Let your imagination loose, please your own palate.
- If you’d rather not use fruity craft beer (your loss:) and prefer to substitute with milk to whip up the custard think of the ways you can flavor that milk…Honey, agave, cocoa, cinnamon, turmeric. Or why not use coconut milk?
- What about going savory? It really isn’t as shocking as it sounds. Use a lager such as Kolsch or Pilsner, an amber ale or milk for the custard and stuff with mozzarella and basil, or ham and Swiss cheese.
Then consider the countless ways you can go about serving this croissant French toast. You can opt for things like:
- smothering it with crème fraiche and honey
- whipped cream or mascarpone cheese
- whipped ricotta or cream cheese
- good old powdered sugar
- agave syrup
- hot honey
Other French Toast Recipes and Breakfast Recipes with Craft Beer
Baked French Toast Casserole (coming up imminently)
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