Caramelized Banana French Toast

Posted by Noelle on March 4th, 2012
Categories: Bread, Breakfasts
Tags: ,,

There is something magical about bananas, cinnamon, and vanilla. I literally could blend those up with some coconut milk and devour it sans straw, crazy right? So of course I have been fantasizing about what I can do with them. So I went to my idea book, yep I keep one of those to jot down every little recipe idea that pops into my head and... VoilĂ ! French toast. One of the things I miss about my pre-vegan days is being able to go to any breakfast joint and order up a big plate of French toast, but alas I guess those chefs just haven't thought outside the milk and egg box yet. Maybe someday, they'll see my blog and have an a-ha moment, and rush off to the store to buy coconut milk. Fortunately I already know that it's possible to make divine French toast without a single egg. I know, I know... but try this one, you'll be a believer. Now I must remind you that I don't like super sweet things. So feel free to add a pint of maple syrup to your toast if that's your thing. Otherwise this is all about the delicate nuances. The hint of banana that permeates the bread, the kiss of cinnamon and vanilla...you get the idea. The French toast is amazing as is (really it is), but it goes to a whole new planet when you add the caramelized bananas. I like to space travel when having my breakfast. So put your NASA pin on and head for the kitchen. In T-Minus 15 minutes you'll be enjoying some out of this world French toast.

Ingredients:

French Toast:

Caramelized Bananas:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a metal cookie rack onto a large sheet pan. Add the first 7 ingredients, coconut milk through nutmeg, to your blender. Blend on high speed until the bananas have liquefied. Pour this batter into a shallow dish large enough to dip at least 1 piece of bread flat at a time. Next, spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and add just a little bit of canola oil to coat. Heat the pan with oil over medium heat until hot. Dip a slice of bread into the batter. Let it soak for about 5-10 seconds and then flip over and let the other side soak for 5-10 seconds. the trick is that you don't want it to be completely saturated. If your bread is dryer it can soak longer, but if it's soft it should be in and out quickly or it will get mushy later. Let any excess batter drip back into the dish and place the wet bread onto the hot pan. Repeat with the next slice and add to the pan. If you have a large skillet you can keep going, if not, stick with 2 pieces so you don't overcrowd the pan. Let them cook for about 4 minutes on the first side. Using a thin spatula you can gently lift a corner to check doneness. When the French toast has some lovely browning on the outside it's time to flip it over. Gently flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, again until it has some good browning.

Place the French toast onto the cookie rack and sheet pan combo, put into the oven to keep warm. Add a little oil between batches to keep bread from sticking. When all French toast slices are done and warming in the oven, it's time to make the caramelized bananas. Put the maple syrup, butter, and salt into a clean non-stick pan, cook over medium heat, stirring often until bubbling. Add the bananas and walnuts (if using), trying to keep them in a single layer in the pan. Let cook for 1 minute and quickly stir and flip. Continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes until the bananas just start to look soft. Remove from heat immediately.

To serve, plate 2 pieces of French toast then top with caramelized bananas, distributing evenly among the plates. Drizzle with more maple syrup and butter if desired. Serve Warm. Makes 4 servings, with 2 pieces of French toast each.