Cherry-Berry Stuffed French Toast Casserole
1 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon corn syrup
12 brioche bread slices
2 cups assorted fresh berries and cherries (strawberries, sweet cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Use any combination of berries and cherries that are in season (strawberries should be hulled and halved; cherries should be pitted and halved before using).
Pure maple syrup, for garnish
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350º-F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
In a small saucepan, heat all topping ingredients together over medium heat until butter is melted and everything is well-incorporated.
Add 6 slices of brioche bread to cover the bottom of the baking dish, then evenly spread the filling over the bread slices. Add 1 cup of the fruit, then add the remaining 6 slices of bread. Pour the egg mixture over the entire dish. Make sure the egg mixture gets evenly distributed; gently press down on all the bread slices with a spatula or clean hands.
Evenly pour topping over the egg-soaked bread and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until done. Let set up for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
Garnish with remaining fresh fruit, berries, maple syrup and mint leaves.