Croque Madam Breakfast Casserole and Homemade Hot Cocoa with Colleen Hatton


Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Home Made Hot Cocoa


  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1 C Cocoa Powder
  • 1 t Salt
  • 2 C Hot Water
  • 8 C Whole Milk
  • Vanilla to Taste

In a large saucepan combine sugar, cocoa powder, salt and hot water and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved add the whole milk and heat thoroughly.  Once hot, removed from heat and add vanilla. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream.

Croque Madam Breakfast Casserole

For Casserole

  • 1 french baguette cut into 1 inch cubes about 3-4 cups
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese grated and divided
  • 2 cups cooked ham diced

For Bechemel

  • 1 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half and half, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Add the bread to the egg mixture along with the grated cheese and diced ham.
  • Using your hands or a spatula, mix the ingredients well making sure the bread has been well soaked in egg.
  • Transfer the whole mixture from the bowl to a 2-quart oven-safe dish and spread out evenly.
  • Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • While the casserole is baking, make the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a non stick pan.
  • Add the flour and whisk together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Gradually add 1 1/4 cups of the milk, whisking constantly over medium heat to get rid of any lumps. Save a quarter cup of the milk for later. The sauce will thicken as it cools and that’s okay.
  • Add the nutmeg when the sauce is smooth. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside until the casserole is done.
  • Once the casserole is done, take the foil off. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees F.
  • Bring the béchamel sauce back to the burner and place on low heat. Whisk the remaining quarter cup of milk into it until it’s smooth again.
  • Pour the béchamel sauce over the casserole and then top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere.
  • Place back into the oven and bake for a further 8 minutes uncovered.
  • Take the casserole from the oven and carefully create two slightly sunken holes with the back of a spoon.
  • Crack an egg into both holes and place back into the oven or under the broiler until the egg whites are firm.

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