As of yesterday, Spring may have sprung! One of my favorite warm weather activities has to be having weekend brunches with my friends, enjoying eggs benedict and sipping mimosas, while lingering leisurely and people-watching from a sidewalk cafe somewhere on a quaint block in the West Village. But when I’m in the mood to sleep in, these French toasts are my perfect brunch solution. I got the idea for this recipe from Norma’s, after trying their brunch with my friend Amy who was visiting from out of town. My favorite part was the crunchy topping on the banana slices layered on the waffles, so I adapted it for a French toast recipe.
These toasts are cooked in butter until golden brown, with slices of banana piled on top and flambéed until they are nicely caramelized. Because, really, who needs an excuse to play with the kitchen torch? Last but not least, you’d probably want to top everything with a healthy drizzle of salted caramel sauce, which can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave right before serving. And if there’s extra, you can drizzle it over ice cream, enjoy it as a dip with some Granny Smith apple slices, or just to eat it with a spoon!
Delightfully sweet, salty, crunchy, gooey. It never hurts to have something a little decadent for brunch. Enjoy!
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 6 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp + 1½ tbsps sugar, divided
- Pinch of salt
- 8 slices of thick-cut bread (such as challah and brioches)
- 2 bananas, sliced
- Cooking spray
- Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a boil, occasionally swirling pan until deep amber color forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in butter until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and gradually add heavy cream and sea salt. Simmer over medium heat until the caramel sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, 1 tsp sugar, and salt in a shallow plate. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.
- Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture and transfer to skillet, cooking until both sides are golden brown.
- To assemble, arrange French toasts on four plates, and place banana slices on top. Cover banana slices with a thin layer of remaining sugar, and burn with a kitchen torch until caramelized and crunchy. Serve warm with caramel sauce.
*If you prefer, you can also add up to 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the caramel sauce along with the heavy cream.