So while we’re stuffing things into other things, à la the oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies of my previous post, I thought you might like to see some french toast stuffed with caramelized rum bananas. I know my husband was very happy at its appearance. It’s unbelievably yummy! If the words “caramelized rum bananas” didn’t capture your attention, I don’t know what you’re like. I must admit though, the original recipe that I consulted for this dish did not include rum as one of the ingredients. That might have been all me-with no regrets though! Bananas and rum are without a doubt a match made in heaven.
In order to be able to stuff the lovely caramelized run bananas into the toast, you have to start off with a pretty thick piece of Challah bread, about 1 1/2 inches.
You cut a 2 inch long slit in one side of the bread slice, extending down three-fourths of the way, to create a pocket. Once done you stuff that pocket full of the rummy banana bliss,
dunk it in the usual french toast egg/milk mixture and then pop it into a Panini maker to cook.
Oh my giddy Aunt! Soooooooo good! The recipe I used recommended topping it with not only a toasted pecan maple syrup, but also a whipped crème fraîche. We were happy topping ours solely with a simple whipped cream, minus the crème fraîche, and a few extra of the caramelized bananas. We did not feel that any syrup was necessary-as if “necessary” is a word that should come anywhere near this dish. It is pretty darn sweet. However, to each his own and who am I to judge an individuals sweet tooth. So, I have included the toasted pecan maple syrup in the following recipe. Enjoy!
Caramelized Rum Banana-Stuffed French Toast
For the toasted pecan maple syrup:
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup maple syrup
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the French toast:
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 Tbs. dark rum
1-lb. loaf day-old challah, ends trimmed, bread cut into 6 slices, each 1 1/2 inches thick
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the toasted pecan maple syrup, in a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the salt and maple syrup, increase the heat to high and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
To make the whipped cream, place the cream, confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready for use.
To make the French toast, in large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foam subsides, add the 2 Tbs. light brown sugar and the rum, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the banana slices and gently toss. Cook until the mixture is lightly caramelized and the bananas are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a slit 2 inches long in one side of each bread slice, cutting three-fourths of the way. Stuff the pockets with the banana mixture, dividing evenly.
Preheat an electric Panini maker. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, cinnamon, honey, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla extract and whisk together. Pour into a baking dish. Soak half of the bread slices for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
Place the bread on the Panini maker and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the rack-lined baking sheet. Soak and cook the remaining bread slices. Serve the French toast topped with whipped cream and the maple syrup should you desire. Serves 6.
Adapted from a Recipe by Chef Bryan Voltaggio found on William Sonoma Recipes.