Night before preparation
I believe my old recipe for blueberry cream cheese French toast comes from an old issue of Bon appetit (meaning it should be on epicirious). Anyway, it's more casserole style almost like French toast gone bread pudding and you can do it completely in advance. Just reheat in the oven the next day and serve with warm grade A maple syrup!
For weekend breakfast buffets, I make Crème Brûlée French Toast by melting butter that is poured into a casserole dish (enough to cover the bottom), followed by brown sugar (again, enough to cover the bottom). Stale bread (an enriched bread works very well - brioche, even cinnamon-raisin bread) is layered in on top. Don't be afraid to squeeze in the slices so the entire surface is covered. Then I whisk together a ratio of 2 eggs for each slice of bread with 4 ounces of cream for every 4 eggs. Feel free to add a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. A dash of cardamom, oh yeah! Pour this over the bread, making sure all slices are submerged. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, pull the baking dish to room temp at the same time that you preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes until surface is puffed and golden brown. To serve, cut into squares and lift out with a wide spatula, flipping them over to display the caramelized underside. Bon appétit!