This dish is perfect for lazy mornings...you do most of the work the night before. Just bake, top and serve!
12 slices bread, i prefer brioche
8 ounces cream cheese
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp orange zest
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt
The night before, grease a large casserole dish. Be sure that you can fit 6 slices of bread evenly across the bottom of your casserole dish. I use this 13-inch x 10-inch casserole dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest.
Spread on a thick layer of the cream cheese mixture on a slice of bread and close it with a second slice to make a sandwich. Place it in the casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining slices. Be sure to divide up all of the cream cheese mixture evenly.
Whisk all the eggs, then whisk in the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
Gently pour the mixture over the French toast sandwiches. Allow it to soak for 1 minute. Then carefully using the help of a spatula, flip each sandwich over. Don't let it soak too long because if the bottom bread becomes too soggy, it's hard to flip.
Cover and set in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
In the morning, take the french toast casserole out of the oven 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 55 minutes. The Casserole is done when there's no more liquid left and the egg is set.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
Serve warm with fresh fruit, topped with maple syrup.