Here’s a good breakfast or brunch recipe for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. At Cafe du Soleil we serve this on our fall and winter brunch menu so watch for it in the next few months.
This dish is based on the classic dessert Bananas “Foster” – the only difference being that I omit the vanilla ice cream that’s usually served with it. If you’re feeling decadent, however, go ahead and use it, or pipe on some whipped cream!
Either way you’ll find it to be an easy and delicious way to impress your family or brunch guests.
Ingredients to serve 4
- 4 slices of brioche or challah bread (about 2″ thick, cut in 1/2 diagonally)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk, preferably whole
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
- pinch sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Bananas and Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (preferably dark)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon banana liqueur (optional)
- 2 just ripe bananas, sliced into 1-2″ slices
- 1/2 cup walnut halves, shelled
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- optional garnishes – powdered sugar, berries, fresh mint sprigs
Preheat oven to 200F.
Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, orange liqueur, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl until combined. Pour into a baking dish and soak bread slices for about 2 minutes per side. It’s helpful to press lightly on the bread to help it absorb the egg mixture. If you feel like the bread is getting too soggy remove it from bowl sooner.
Heat a non stick griddle or 10″ saute pan or heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Spray with cooking spray to coat lightly. Add bread slices and brown gently about 5 minutes per side, plus a few minutes standing on end to brown the edges. Place on a cookie sheet and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.
Wipe skillet clean, then add butter to melt over low heat. Add brown sugar and nutmeg and stir until sugar dissolves. Add banana liqueur (if using) and bring sauce to simmer. Add bananas and walnuts and cook for about 2 minutes, carefully spooning sauce over bananas as they are cooking. Remove bananas from pan to a bowl. Bring sauce to a simmer and carefully add the rum. If the sauce is very hot, the alcohol will flame on its own. Allow flame to subside, then add orange zest and remove from heat (keep warm if not using immediately).
Place 2 pieces French Toast on each plate, divide bananas evenly over bread and spoon sauce over it all. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and garnish with berries and mint.