June 5, 2016

Almond Crusted Milk Bread French Toast with Maple Caramelized Bananas

One of the most memorable meals I've eaten was at The General Muir in Atlanta -- I had a pecan crusted french toast (photo below) that was topped off with caramelized bananas, and oh my word it was good. If I had to point out one thing that I didn't like, it would be that parts of the challah were on the dry side...honestly though, there's not much that I can complain about ;) 

This recipe was inspired by the french toast I had at TGM; I didn't have any pecans on hand, so I used almond meal instead. Instead of using challah, I used thick slices of homemade vegan milk bread (I used Mary's recipe, but I do have one myself too!), and instead of making a caramel sauce to top raw bananas with, I cooked/caramelized bananas in maple syrup. The frozen raspberries weren't a part of the original plan, but I needed a pop of color for the photos, and they ended up pairing very nicely with the french toast! In the end, I didn't get the same results, but that's not what I aimed for. All I wanted was some bomb french toast, and that's what I got ;)

Recipe: Almond Crusted Milk Bread French Toast with Maple Caramelized Bananas
By: Hannah Claudia

Milk bread recipe: Mary's Test Kitchen
French toast method: Alton Brown

4 thick slices (about 1" thick) of milk bread (best if it's a day old/very dry and stale. you can toast the bread to make it even drier!)

2 eggs
2/3 cup of almond milk (full fat coconut or whole milk would give you richer results)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
pinch of salt

2 cups of almond meal 

maple caramelized bananas:
1 banana, sliced in half and then sliced length-wise
4 tablespoons of maple syrup

(opt: maple syrup, powdered sugar, frozen raspberries -- they defrost from the residual heat of the french toast!)

baking sheet
2 shallow dishes
frying pan

(not necessary but helpful)
cooling rack


1. Preheat your oven to 375*F. 
2. Set up your assembly line: mix the custard ingredients in a shallow dish, place a baking sheet (topped with a cooling rack if you are using one) next to the custard, and place another shallow dish with almond flour next to the baking sheet. 
3. Soak the bread in the custard for about 20 seconds on each side. Transfer the bread to the baking sheet/cooling rack, and allow it to sit for 2 minutes. 
4. Heat the frying pan on high heat with a little bit of coconut oil/butter. When the pan is hot (water will "dance" when you flick water onto the pan), coat each slice of custard soaked bread in almond meal. Immediately add the almond crusted slices to the hot pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
5. Transfer the french toast back onto the baking sheet/cooling rack and place in oven. Bake for 5 minutes.
6. While the french toast is baking, clean the frying pan and heat it on high heat again (no oil). Once it's hot again (use the dancing water test!), add the maple syrup, swirl to spread it out, and place the banana slices (flat side down) onto the maple syrup.
7. Caramelize the bananas until both sides are golden brown and sticky. 
8. Top the french toast with the bananas.

xoxo, han

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