Watch: Beck’s Cajun Cafe makes its most decadent breakfast yet

Here’s a recipe for the new Brioche French Toast Bake at the Reading Terminal Market stand.

Brioche French Toast Bake at Beck's Cajun Cafe

Brioche French Toast Bake at Beck's Cajun Cafe

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

If you like over-the-top food, Beck’s Cajun Cafe is a must-visit. Chef Bill Beck first opened his New Orleans-themed stand in Reading Terminal Market in 2009, and has since expanded with a location inside 30th Street Station.

He’s famous for his “Train Wreck” cheesesteak-po’ boy combo (it won Best of Philly in 2011), his authentic NOLA muffalettas and his alligator sausage, but his sweets also impress.

New on the breakfast menu is something called a Brioche French Toast Bake, which Beck describes as “French toast meets bread pudding.” Billy Penn visited the tiny open-air kitchen to see how he comes up with the decadent morning treat.

Watch how it’s made in the video, then head over to RTM to taste it — or make it at home (recipe below).

Brioche French Toast Bake

by chef Bill Beck of Beck’s Cajun Cafe

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 brioche country Pullman loaf
10 large eggs
3 egg yolks
3 c half-and-half
1½ c heavy cream
1¼ c granulated sugar
2½ tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Dash kosher or sea salt
⅛ lbs unsalted butter (for spreading on bread)

Slice bread into approximately 15 slices, ¾ inch each (day-old bread works best), and spread each slice with butter. In a large bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not bubbly. Rub interior of pan generously with butter. Place first layer of bread in pan (buttered side up) and ladle on custard mix. Repeat for two more layers, tilting pan to evenly distribute liquid. Cover with saran and foil and let sit for 30 min so bread absorbs the custard. Cook in pre-heated oven (250°F convection/300°F conventional) for 60 to 75 minutes.

Praline Syrup

1 tbsp + ½ pound butter
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c chopped pecans
4 tbsp light corn syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Melt 1 tbsp butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add pecans and toast. Add brown sugar and butter, stir well. Continue stirring until all ingredients combine well and evenly bubbly Remove from heat and keep warm until serving.


12 strawberries
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
Whipped cream to taste
Mint leaves
Powdered sugar

Slice strawberries, add to bowl with blueberries and sugar and mix well. Let mix sit for a couple minutes to let sugar dissolve. Using sharp knife, cut french toast into wedges and remove from pan. Arrange french toast on plate, drizzle with praline syrup, top with whipped cream and berries. Sprinkle powdered sugar on plate and garnish with mint leaf.

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