Doesn't this look delicious. I though it did, then I tasted it and it wasn't so delicious. How bummed was I? Very! Seriously, Praline Topped Baked French Toast Casserole? Do you blame me for trying this recipe? But it's inevitable, when you try lots and lots of different and new recipes, some just aren't good. But it goes with the territory, I accept it, I'm OK with a few disasters now and then.
Let me back things up a bit. A week or two ago I saw and episode of Paula Dean's show and she was making Baked French Toast. Looked delicious. But as with most of her recipes, and don't get me wrong, I LOVE Paula Dean, it was way over the top. Tons of butter, sugar, pecans, more butter, more sugar, etcetera. I loved the idea of baked french toast. Something to make the night before and then just bake off in the morning. It would be perfect for Christmas morning or anytime you're hosting breakfast. And, well, I've made breakfast casseroles before. The more savory kind with eggs, cheese, sausage and bread. They turned out great. The idea of a sweet french toasty version sounded awesome. So I though I'd give it a go. I Googled it and read a bunch of different recipes and finally settled on this one. A little less over the top than Paula's version but still with all the flavors and similar ingredients.
It was a flop. I followed the recipe exactly as written. I don't think I did anything wrong, I think it's just not a great recipe. It came out of the oven all puffy and crispy on top, but was totally undercooked inside, soggy and eggy. So I put it back in the oven for 20 more minutes. It came out more cooked but still soggy inside and a little too crispy on top. Then it sunk down quite a bit as it cooled. As I was making the egg/milk mixture it seemed like a lot for the amount of bread but I wasn't going to second guess the recipe. In the end it was edible but just not much flavor. Not sweet enough for French Toast, not un-sweet enough for a savory dish. It was just kind of blah. Ho hum. Not anything that I would want to serve guests. I am thankful that I didn't wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas morning to try this recipe.
So there are a couple of lessons to learn here. Lesson 1: Always try a new recipe out before serving it for a special occasion. Lesson 2: Anyone can start up a blog and post recipes. Doesn't mean they're great and don't assume the blogger is an expert. (Heck, people may not like mine, I'm no expert.) Lesson 3: Go for the totally over the top Paula Dean recipe. It's probably the best and she is an expert.
So take it from me, if you try a lot of new recipes you're going to have a flop or two along the way. Don't let it discourage you, just learn from it and continue on your culinary adventure.
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