Actually, these would have been even more decadent if I had been eating them while relaxing on a hammock on a beach in Fiji. One can dream, right? In honor of that Fijian vacation I have been dreaming about, I made these succulent French toasts to warm up on the occasion of a very frigid New England morning (it was 10 degrees! this morning). These are my own creation: banana-walnut bread french toast, topped with warm berry compote, toasted coconut flakes and maple syrup.
First, I made banana-walnut bread using fresh bananas, toasted walnut, and whole-wheat flour. Here is the recipe, which in its original form came from here-I substituted all-purpose, unbleached flour for whole-wheat, I also used 1 cup of sugar (instead of 1 and 1/2 cups), everything else is the same. (I made the bread the night before and so it was ready to be turned into French toast in the morning!).
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter , softened
- 2 large eggs
- 4 very ripe bananas , mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄3 cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
What to do?
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl cream together the sugar and the butter; add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Beat in mashed bananas and vanilla and continue beating until mixture is smooth.
In a large measuring cup stir baking soda into the buttermilk and add it to the banana mixture along with the flour and chopped nuts. **Remember to toast the walnuts before adding them--put them in a small saucepan and on medium-heat toast them for a few minutes, watch them carefully as walnuts can burn very easily!
Stir the batter until it is just combined.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake for one hour or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the bread to a rack and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Turn it out onto a rack and let it cool completely.
I sliced the bread into thick pieces, and dip it in French toast batter. I use 1 egg (per 4 pieces of bread), and 1 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, whisk together and dip your bread slices making sure they soak up the mixture. I cook the French toasts about 1 or 2 minutes on each side, making sure they are cooked.
In a small sauce pan, I bring together 1/2 cup frozen, mixed berries, 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar, and 2 tablespoons cold water and heat up together until it boils. I then blend everything together in a blender, and this is my (super-easy) warm fruit compote. I toast 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes in a small pan, making sure that they brown but not letting them burn.
Then I plate the French toasts, add fruit compote, coconut flakes and the maple syrup!
There is no better way to wish your loved ones a "happy valentine's day!" than with a delicious meal. (or a vacation to Fiji, LOL!)