Food & Drink

Adding caramelized bananas makes French toast deliciously decadent

BLT Steak’s French toast is topped with caramelized bananas.
BLT Steak’s French toast is topped with caramelized bananas. Jennifer Lover

What’s better than French toast for breakfast? Nothing, according to Tammy Stokes, who requested BLT Steak’s version made with a topping of caramelized bananas. Crispy on the outside, rich and custardy in the middle, and topped with bananas foster, it’s basically a morning dessert. Yum!

Chef Ben Miles says, “Use brioche to keep the French toast light and airy. We top it with pecans and bananas glazed in brown sugar, butter and rum – because rum always makes breakfast more fun.”

Choosing the right bread is important. You need a sturdy loaf with a dense crumb that won’t fall apart during the custard soak. Both brioche and challah are perfect. Keep the slices thick, at 3/4 to 1 inch. Any less and it won’t hold together.

Other fruit would be great in this recipe, too. Use what’s in season. I have peaches on my mind right now, but apples, pears or berries would be equally delicious. If you’d prefer not to use alcohol, you can leave the bourbon out of the batter and swap the rum in the glaze for orange juice.

Are you looking for a recipe from a Charlotte-area restaurant? Send your request to Jennifer Lover, or on Instagram (@jenniferlover). Please include your name, why you like the recipe, the area where you live and the restaurant’s location. Lover is a creative director, stylist and cook who lives in Charlotte.

BLT Steak Charlotte

110 N. College St., Charlotte; 704-972-4380.

Caramelized Banana Brioche French Toast

From chef Ben Miles, BLT Steak in Charlotte.

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons bourbon

Zest of 1/2 orange

4 eggs, whole

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

8 slices brioche, cut 3/4- to 1-inch thick (if it’s a large loaf, then 6 slices)

Banana Glaze:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons rum

2 tablespoons water (or orange juice)

2 bananas, firm but ripe, peeled and sliced diagonally

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Combine heavy cream, milk, bourbon, and orange zest in a shallow bowl or pan.

Whisk eggs and egg yolks together in a metal bowl until light and airy, then add sugar. Pour into liquid mixture and mix well.

Soak brioche slices in batter until saturated.

Heat a nonstick skillet to medium. Remove brioche from the egg mixture, letting excess liquid drip back into the bowl, then add to the hot pan. Cook until evenly toasted, about 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside or keep warm in a 250-degree oven. (We tested it in a nonstick skillet without butter and it worked fine, but if you find that it sticks, you could add some butter to the pan.)

Preheat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and brown sugar, then rum and water. Stir mixture constantly until the butter and sugar melt to form a sauce. Add bananas, lower heat and cook through. Immediately pour on top of the brioche. Garnish with pecans and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

Yield: 6 to 8 slices.