It’s been well over a week since my last post, and that’s because life’s been a bit crazy around these parts. I was out of town for work 31 of the past 45 days, then once I got home it was back to the cookbook grindstone and I’ve been cooking, writing, and shooting nonstop ever since. There is so. much. chicken. My refrigerator is packed with food and I’ve been trying to freeze as much as I can so nothing goes to waste, but that’s getting pretty full up, too. There’s only so much food a family of two can consume. So, even though there is an insane amount of food in the house, and even though my time to do anything but cook and write has become increasingly scarce, I decided to carve in a little time to make these guys. Because sometimes I need to cook and shoot what I actually want in order to maintain my sanity, even if it means letting my dishes pile up and emails go unanswered for a few days longer.
I’ve been wanting banana bread for ages, and banana bread french toast in particular ever since I saw it on the menu at one of the places in Asheville that Carey and I had breakfast at (a foodie’s guide to Asheville post will be coming soon!) I immediately popped it into my phone so I wouldn’t forget to make it later (there’s been so many things swirling around in my head lately that I’ve found if I don’t immediately write it down or actually complete the thing then I will most certainly forget about it). I decided to whip it up with one of my favorite banana bread recipes, and top the whole thing off with some delicious vanilla bean creme fraiche from Vermont Creamery. If you’ve never had it, creme fraiche is basically cultured cream that has a deliciously rich flavor and a thick and fluffy texture. Mix vanilla bean paste into that and you’ve pretty much got the best topping ever.
The sumptuous and custardy banana bread french toast melted into decadent cream and created my new favorite breakfast pastry. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this stuff. One bite and it will make the stress of everyday life dissipate for a moment, and all you can think of is how damn good this french toast is and why haven’t I been putting creme fraiche on everything always. It certainly helped me maintain my sanity, and gave me a few minutes of bliss that were much needed in this whirlwind of a month. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of comfort food to perk you right on up.
And just a few ramblings, the Cape Cod workshop is sold out, but we still have some spaces at our summer workshop in Sweden. It’s at an incredible lake house deep in the forest, and we’ll have our own private dock, a little boat, and a steam house to relax in afterwards. Come join us!
Also, a new First We Eat podcast episode is up, and this one is all about mushrooms. YUM. We talk about foraging, growing them yourself, cooking them, flavor profiles of different varieties of mushrooms, and what they’re actually made of (hint, think crab shells!) You can subscribe in iTunes here.
And in about a month I’ll be getting a bunch of little chicks delivered to my door. Eight of them, to be exact. I’ve been getting the spare bedroom ready for their brooding box and am so so SO excited to watch them grow and shuffle around the yard and am even more excited for when the eggs come. I’ve never owned chickens before, but have been reading a ton of books about backyard chickens and am feeling okay-ish with my knowledge so far, but if any of you have owned chickens and have any tips I’d be much obliged!
Well, that’s all the ramblings I have today. I hope you all enjoy this wonderfully rich recipe and that spring has found its way to your door! (It certainly has here, my dogwood tree has just started blooming, if you couldn’t tell from the massive amounts of blooms I tucked into these photos. Yay spring!)
Banana Bread French Toast with Vanilla Bean Creme Fraiche
- 3 large bananas ripe
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Banana Bread French Toast
- 2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- [1/4] cup honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- unsalted butter for greasing the griddle
- 1/4 cup Vermont Creamery vanilla bean creme fraiche
- For the banana bread, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mash the bananas together until they are completely blended into a paste. Mix in the eggs and sugar, then beat in the butter until the mixture is well blended.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the batter. Pour into a small well-greased loaf pan and bake in the oven until deeply golden and a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out relatively clean, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 45 minutes before cutting into 1-inch thick slices and allowing the slices to cool completely on a wire rack.
Banana Bread French Toast
- For the banana bread french toast, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and place a baking sheet in the oven. Whisk together the milk, eggs, honey, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth. Begin heating a well-greased griddle.
- Empty the milk mixture into a wide shallow dish and add the banana bead slices, allowing them to soak in the mixture for 5 minutes, turning once, working in batches if necessary. As they finish soaking, place them on the griddle and cook until golden on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. As they finish cooking, transfer them to the baking sheet in the oven so that they stay warm.
- Once all the french toast is prepared, place them on a serving platter and top with the creme fraiche. Serve immediately.