OVERNIGHT STRAWBERRY AND BRIE FRENCH TOAST BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

1 loaf brioche (about 14-16 ounce)

1-pound strawberries, sliced

½-pound brie cheese

10 eggs

1 cup light cream

1 cup milk

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Macerated strawberry syrup:

1 pound California strawberries, sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Gran Mariner liqueur

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the brioche into 1-2” cubes and place them on a foil-lined cookie sheet.   Place in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly toasted.

Prepare a 9” x 13” baking dish with non-stick spray and spread half of the toasted brioche in the bottom of the pan.  Top with all of the strawberries, reserving ¼ cup.

Cut the rind off of the brie cheese and chop or tear into 1” pieces and spread evenly in the casserole.  Top with the remaining brioche and dot the top with the remaining sliced strawberries.

Combine the eggs, cream, milk, orange juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and whisk vigorously until smooth and well combined.  Pour this mixture over the casserole, covering all of the bread evenly.  Then, using your hands or a spatula press the bread into the custard, making sure that every piece is coated in the custard.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the casserole from the fridge and let sit for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients for the macerated strawberry syrup in a small bowl and toss to combine.  Periodically toss while the casserole bakes.

Bake casserole for 30 minutes covered with foil.  Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until center is set and knife comes out clean.

Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Dust the top with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares and serve with fresh macerated strawberries and maple syrup on the side.

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