ARTICLE / NEW RECIPES

New Recipe: Copycat Disney’s French Toast with Caramel Sauce

Not all French toast is created equal. Behold, the beloved Brioche French Toast served at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Disney’s California Adventure.

There are only four things available for adults when eating breakfast at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure Park in Anaheim: a classic egg scramble with potatoes and bacon, seasonal fruit, a Tex-Mex chicken verde tamale and scrambled egg dish and — the dish that has launched countless copycats — the French toast. This isn’t just any French toast, mind you: It’s brioche bread, thick and cooked to perfection (soft inside, with crispy edges), served with cut bananas and smothered in a decadent caramel sauce.

What makes this particular dish so special? There’s the concept itself — as if bananas foster and French toast got together to make something better than each of their individual parts. And then, instead of being on the menu of a three-star white tablecloth establishment, it’s a reliably good takeaway item at a retro-themed counter service fast food restaurant in an amusement park — for all of $8.49 per serving.

And now, you can make it at home, for a fraction of that cost: Eden Westbrook, of Sweet Tea & Thyme, developed this version of Disney’s French toast for Yummly. Westbrook is a classically trained chef — in addition to being an entrepreneur, photographer, mom, wife, and blogger — and this isn’t her first Disney copycat recipe. (Her take on Dole Whip — a delicious “fail,” as she puts it — is still pretty delicious).

All of the key elements are here: homemade caramel sauce, rich with butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and a touch of vanilla; thick slices of brioche; sliced bananas and powdered sugar to top it all off. Whereas Flo’s version comes out somewhat similar to bread pudding, in one thick piece, Westbrook serves her french toast stacked high. It’s almost architectural. To make it even more decadent and gourmet, Westbrook recommends homemade brioche. But with store-bought brioche, the entire recipe has 11 ingredients, takes 20 minutes and — not surprisingly — rings up about 1000 calories. This is clearly a special occasion french toast.

For those who like a sweet start to the day, the verdict is pretty clear.

"One of my very favorite dishes to order for breakfast from Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land!" says Jenny Flake of the Disney food blog Picky Palate. She cites Flo’s brioche French toast as one of the best dishes available year-round at California Adventure. “It’s worth every naughty calorie.”

“This meal is basically dessert,” says Heather Sievers, the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. She recommends splitting an order on the side.

Upon trying the French toast for the first time, CL, of the (now defunct) YouTube show A Mouse and a Dream, said simply, “God bless America, that is delicious.”

And those are just the Disney enthusiasts!

Alyssa Rivers, the long-time blogger behind The Recipe Critic, doesn’t hold back, either, calling Flo’s brioche French toast “one of the most amazing breakfasts that I have ever had.”

Deborah Harroun, of the blog Taste and Tell says, “It is one of those things we have to get every single time we go to Disneyland.”

And Nancy Luna of The Orange County Register recommends the French toast as well, but warns, “If you have a sensitive sweet tooth, eat with caution.”

If your sweet tooth is calling, this is one to bookmark. If you’re lucky enough to be at Disney’s California Adventure, just do as the sign says: “Eat at Flo’s and Get Gas!” Or you can enjoy this gorgeous decadent brioche french toast in the comfort of your own home.

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