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Chefs’ Corner: Don Strange’s Brioche French Toast and Bananas Foster

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Brioche French Toast and Bananas Foster

Looking for a brunch dish that goes way over the top? Try this recipe from Don Strange of Texas.

“The very thought of this dish is enough to make you hungry,” says Frances Strange in “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” (Shearer Publishing, ) written with Terry Thompson-Anderson. “Don had a flair for creating elaborate, extravagant brunch dishes. This is one he served at a lovely wedding brunch outside of Fredericksburg.”

It’s perfect for Mother’s Day or anytime you want to start the day off with something special.

Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster

1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
4 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
8 (5/8-inch-thick) slices day-old brioche
Bananas Foster (see below)
Sweetened whipped cream
Cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish
Mint springs to garnish

Bananas Foster

1/3 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup banana flavored liqueur
1/2 cup dark rum, divided use
4 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

For the French toast, combine the milk, cream, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; whisk until eggs are well beaten and the batter is smooth. Melt some butter on a flat griddle over medium heat. Dip the brioche slices in the egg batter, coating both sides. Allow excess batter to drip off. Place the battered bread on the hot griddle without touching. (Cook in batches in necessary to avoid crowding.) Cook until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Keep hot in a warm oven while cooking the remaining slices.

For the Bananas Foster: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon with fork and set aside. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon sugar mixture and stir until sugar dissolves. Add banana liqueur and 1/4 cup of the rum. Cook, stirring, until syrupy and thickened (about 5 minutes). Add banana slices and lightly coat with the syrup. Add the remaining rum. Quickly swirl the pan, tilting it toward the flame, to ignite the rum. (If you are using an electric stove, light the rum with a long match.) Swirl the pan, basting bananas with the sauce, until flame subsides. Remove pan from heat, set aside and keep warm.

To serve, stack slices of the French toast on each serving plate. Place banana slices on each serving and drizzle some of the pan sauce over the top. Top with a generous dollop of the whipped cream. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, then add a mint sprig. Serve at once.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” by Frances Strange with Terry Thompson-Anderson

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