HAM & CHEESE BRUNCH CAKE

“Strata, breakfast casserole, savoury french toast bake or bread pudding. It doesn’t matter what you call this, it’s totally delish and can be made ahead so it’s great for feeding a crowd! It tastes like a cross between a quiche, french toast and an omelette.” ~ Recipe Tin Eats

HAM & CHEESE BRUNCH CAKE 
Using ham allows for soaking overnight with less mess to prepare. I also like using a mixture of half bacon half ham.
adapted from Cheese and Bacon Bread Bake Cake (Strata) from RecipeTin Eats

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Serves: 8

12 ounces HAM steak, diced small and divided – ORIGINAL RECIPE CALLS FOR BACON
3 green onions, minced
1 tablespoon butter
6 eggs
1¼ cups 2% milk (I use whole)
¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes or kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
7 cups (lightly packed) stale baguette, cut into 1 inch cubes (I use whatever is on hand)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese **
Parsley, finely chopped – optional garnish

  • Heat a large non stick pan over high heat.
  • Add all but 3 tablespoons of bacon (reserve for topping) and cook until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl until well blended.
  • Place the bread in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour in the egg mixture, 1½ cups of the cheese and cooked bacon.
  • Seal and massage the egg into the bread cubes.
  • Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight (until all the egg is soaked into the bread).
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray an 8″ springform pan with non-stick spray.
  • Pour the bread mixture into the cake tin, pat down to compress and scatter with remaining uncooked bacon and remaining ½ cup cheese.
  • Cover loosely with foil or a pan lid.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.
  • Allow cake to rest for 5 minutes before removing the springform and cutting into slices to serve.
  • Garnish with parsley if using.

**You can substitute any other tasty flavored melting cheese such as Jack, Fontina or Havarti.
NOTE:

  • You can also use a 10 inch square baking dish instead of a spring form pan. I use a 10 inch square PUSH up pan.
  • Using the Ziploc bag instead of directly using the pan keeps the mixture from seeping out  during the soaking time.
  • If your bread is NOT a stale crusty bread you may need to bake longer.

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