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A Mother’s Day Brunch: French Toast With Caramelized Bananas

Whether you’re spending Mother’s Day spoiling her, kicking back with maternal friends, or catching up via Zoom, add our latest brunch recipe to the mix – taken from ‘Brunch the Sunday way’ by Alan Turner and Terence Williamson.

Ingredients

Serves 2
Time: 1 hour

3 large eggs
6 tbsp caster sugar
125ml (4fl oz) double cream
125ml (4fl oz) whole milk
2 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
60ml (2fl oz) thick crème fraîche
2 bananas, peeled and halved lengthways
4 thick slices good-quality brioche
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
1 recipe quantity Salted Caramel (see below)
1 recipe quantity Berry Compote (see below),
or a handful of fresh summer berries if in season icing sugar, for dusting

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk briefly. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the double cream, milk and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and whisk again for 2–3 minutes until all the ingredients are completely incorporated. In a bowl, gently fold the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with the crème fraîche – don’t over mix as you want the crème fraîche to be nice and thick. Keep in the fridge until needed. Put the egg mixture in a deep, flat dish (a baking dish will work) that will fit two slices of the brioche in side by side.

Place the bananas, cut side up, on a baking tray. Cover each half of the banana with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar. Caramelise the sugar on the bananas with a blow torch, if you have one. Take care not to hold the blow torch too close to the bananas, or they will burn. If you don’t have a blow torch, serve the banana raw. Preheat the oven to 100ºC fan/120ºC/250ºF/gas 1 and line a baking tray with parchment. Soak 2 slices of brioche at a time in the batter, making sure the slices are completely soaked by the batter.

Heat a large heavy-based non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Remove the soaked brioche slices from the egg mix and carefully shake off excess batter, being careful not to break the brioche. Place the slices in the frying pan and cook for 2–3 minutes, until the undersides of the slices are golden. Add half the butter to the pan and let it melt, then turn the brioche over. Cook the other side of the slices for a further 2 minutes, until golden in colour and the toast is firm to the touch. Place the slices on the prepared baking tray and keep warm in preheated oven. Wipe out the pan with kitchen roll, so that you have a clean pan, then repeat the process to soak and cook the remaining two slices. Meanwhile, in a pan set over a low heat, gently warm the salted caramel.

To assemble, cut two of the brioche slices in half at an angle, then transfer them to two serving plates, putting two triangles of toast onto each one. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of vanilla crème fraiche on top of each triangle of French toast, then top with 1 teaspoon of the berry compote. Gently lay half a caramelised banana on top of the berry compote, then drizzle with the salted caramel. Cut the remaining two brioche slices diagonally in half, and place them on top of the banana to make a sandwich on each plate. Dust the toast with icing sugar and serve.

Salted Caramel

Makes: 500ml
Time taken: 25 minutes

200g (7oz) caster sugar
100ml (3½fl oz) golden syrup
300ml (10½fl oz) double cream
50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, diced
½ tsp sea salt

Before you start, make sure you have all your ingredients ready to hand. Heat the sugar and golden syrup in a medium-sized heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves and a dark amber liquid is formed. Keep a constant eye whilst doing this as the mixture can burn easily. The resulting liquid will be slightly darker than the golden syrup. Slowly add the double cream to the caramelised sugar and syrup. Be careful so as to avoid splashing; as you’re adding cold cream to a hot mixture, the mixture will bubble intensely. Cook for around 5 minutes until smooth and incorporated.

Add the butter and salt and whisk them into the mixture. Cook for a further 5 minutes until
slightly thickened and a golden caramel. Remove from the heat and pass the sauce through a metal strainer to remove any sugar crystals that might have formed. Pour the caramel into a heatproof container and allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge. The refrigerated sauce will keep for up to 1 month.

Berry Compote

Makes: 250g (9oz)
Time taken: 25 minutes

This berry compote is great with pancakes, French toast, porridge, granola, or even just with a bowl of yoghurt or ice cream too. The list is endless.

250g (9oz) frozen mixed berries (use directly from the freezer, do not defrost)
½ tsp vanilla extract
25g (1oz) caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a small pan set over a low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook the berries for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the mixture’s not sticking to the pan. The compote will have a wonderful shine and be syrupy at this point. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1 hour in the pan before transferring the compote to a plastic container or a jam jar to store. Refrigerate and serve when required. This will keep for 5 days in the fridge.