Think of this irresistible dessert as the sweet love child between crème brûlée and bread pudding.
1 pound brioche loaf, sliced into 1-inch cubes
Unsalted butter (to coat the pan)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
6 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or orange liquor
Zest of one orange
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Granulated sugar for brulee
Grand Marnier Maple Syrup:
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or orange liquor
Using a paper towel, coat the sides and bottom of a springform pan with unsalted butter.
In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and sugar and add the mixture to the pan, swirling to coat the bottom and sides.
Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of brioche cubes. Sprinkle the first layer with brown sugar and repeat for remaining layers.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, orange liqueur, orange zest, maple syrup and kosher salt until well incorporated and frothy, about 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture over the layered brioche cubes, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat oven to 375°F.
Remove the pan from the refrigerator and allow the mixture to come to just under room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and press down the top layer to moisten the brioche a bit if it appears dry.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes until the center is no longer wet. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the casserole is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the casserole from the oven, sprinkle with a layer of granulated sugar and torch to create a crunchy top layer, or use broil setting in the oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from the pan and serve with orange segments, fresh raspberries and Grand Marnier maple syrup.
For the Gran Marnier syrup:
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer for about 6-8 minutes until the mixture is slightly reduced. Do not boil.
Serve over French toast and save the remaining mixture if desired.
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