French toast is incredibly delicious, but it’s not exactly portable – especially topped with bananas and caramel. Because of this, it has never been an option for my brunch parties since I just don’t have enough chairs around my table to accommodate a lot of friends.
Thankfully, threading French toast cubes onto kebabs totally solves the problem while making the dish more fun at the same time. You get all the flavors and textures you love in French toast, and you still have a free hand to hold a mimosa.
I like to use sourdough for French toast because it has more structure than brioche or challah (particularly important for this application since it’s on a skewer). Slice the bananas as thick or as thin as you like, and thread them whichever way you think looks best. For extra kick, add a couple tablespoons of rum to the caramel sauce before drizzling over the kebabs.
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Bananas Foster French Toast Kebabs
1 1/2-pound loaf sourdough bread
1 1/2 cups milk
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 to 9 bananas
Caramel sauce (see recipe)
Using a serrated knife, remove all the crust from the bread. (Discard or save for breadcrumbs.) Cut the loaf into 1-inch cubes; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
Lightly coat a large, nonstick skillet with oil and set over medium heat. When the pan is hot, drop a handful of the bread into the milk mixture. Allow to soak for about 30 seconds, then, one by one, arrange them in a single layer in the hot pan. Don’t crowd the pan; make sure there is room between each cube so they brown nicely.
Let cook for about 1 minute, then flip and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the pan and set on a plate. Repeat until all the bread has been soaked and cooked.
Cut 3 of the bananas into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices. Thread alternating slices of bananas and pieces of French toast onto the bamboo skewers, slicing more bananas as needed. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with caramel.
Yield: About 45 skewers, or about 9 servings.
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
Pour the heavy cream into a small pot and put on a back burner over low to medium heat. Don’t let it come to a boil; just keep it warm.
In a large, deep saucepan, combine sugar and water. Set over high heat. Stir until the sugar is completely wet and looks sandy, then stop stirring.
Let the sugar cook undisturbed for 8 to 15 minutes. It will begin to bubble around the edges or in a few spots, then it will come to a boil and the sugar will go from opaque to clear. The sugar will eventually turn amber. When you start to see very dark streaks, swirl the pan gently to make sure the sugar cooks evenly.
As soon as the caramel is dark amber, remove the pan from heat and pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble up to almost twice its volume and release a lot of steam – be very careful! Use a long-handled whisk to whisk vigorously until the bubbling subsides.
Add the salt and butter and whisk until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and continue simmering 5 to 10 minutes. Cook for less time for a thinner caramel sauce, or longer for a thicker sauce. The sauce will thicken as it cools, so stop cooking when the sauce is still a bit loose.
Cool and transfer the sauce to jars and refrigerate. Refrigerate up to two weeks.
Yield: About 3 cups