Recipe by chikalin
"I love cardamom, and I thought I'd play with recipes featuring it. I came up with this one after having made cardamom braids, a Norwegian sweet bread. Cardamom braids are the best for this, but French bread or Italian bread will work, too."
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cubed stale firm white bread
1 1/2 cups
ground cardamom, or more to taste
milk, or as needed
On the plus side, this bakes up beautifully. Placing the casserole dish or ramekins in a water bath ensures an evenly baked custard, so no resulting eggy or soggy center. On the negative side, this contains way too much cardamom to be edible. Having grown up around a Finn grandparent, I'm quite familiar with cardamom (pulla is still a favorite) and often seek out recipes in which it is featured. But a full tablespoon (plus more in the topping) of the floral, citrusy spice is overkill. And even though my kitchen smelled wonderful while this was baking, one bite suggested I was eating perfume. Sometimes less IS more.
I was a little hesitant to make this; I love cardamom and cinnamon, but I always disliked bread pudding and that's kinda what this sounded like to me. I used the bread I had on hand, which happened to be Udi's gluten-free sandwich slices. I tore slices to pieces and firmed them up a bit in the oven. Other than that, I followed the directions as is, except added a few raisins in with the bread chunks and baking in a ramekin (made a single serving). As I suspected, the texture was not a hit with me-I loved the top layer but below, it was too soft for my liking. BUT the flavors and overall taste was very yum! Since the issue was a personal preference, I will adapt this recipe next time I make French toast on the stove top because I really like the combo. Thanks for the inspiration!
I made this following directions except I did add a little vanilla to the top mixture. My family didn't like it as well as I did, probably because they aren't used to the taste of the cardamom. I think the next time I would make it, I'd only use half the cardamom just to win them over. The egg/milk mixture didn't quite soak up all the bread, so there was a variety of bread textures in the casserole. Thanks for the recipe!
When I made this, it turned out rather burnt and crunchy on top, and the bottom half was very gooey.
However, I think that if I baked it in a bigger pan it should turn out just fine. After all it was pretty tasty.
Made this for Father's Day Brunch and found it to be a very forgiving recipe. Cardamom is expensive! So I just put more cinnamon. Also, I used a very cheap loaf of white sandwich bread, chopped it into squares and let it sit out overnight to get stale. Since we're a dairy-free household, I used almond milk instead of regular milk. It was such a hit! Will definitely have to make it again.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Cardamom French Toast Casserole
Serving Size: 1/8 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 129
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