Banana Stuffed French Toast

I was blessed with a really good memory when it comes to names. For example, I can name everyone in my kindergarten class along with a random fact about each person. Somehow I continued to accurately fill the slots in this computer brain of mine over the years with dates, names, and people.

Now…on any given day, I automatically start spewing the birthdays and anniversaries of random people from my past.

But…then I had kids. And they sucked the brain cells out of my head. I’m lucky if I can remember their names.

When I do something like book a flight for the wrong day or forget where I hid birthday presents, my husband will say, “Honey, your poor brain.”

Because he knew me as the girl who could remember his cousin’s best friend’s boyfriend and the names of everyone that came to our wedding…from his side.

The good news is that anything I had stored in my brain before kids, is still there. And I can still access it when I’m back in my hometown at Cafe Rio and run into half of my high school. Even if we weren’t friends, I probably know your name and your birthday. But it’s not really something I’ll let on, because from experience I found it freaks people out when you know everything about them when you hardly know them. It comes off a bit stalkerish, I guess.

I still remember this stuffed banana french toast on an episode of Down Home with the Neelys on the Food Network back in 2008. I was drooling the whole time. You’ve got to smell this one cooking. Unbelieveable.

Cook the bananas with brown sugar and butter. Add some cream cheese and then stuff it inside a thick piece of French bread that has a slit cut in it. I actually used challah bread because my bakery was out of French bread. I prefer French bread because it holds up better.
Then the stuffed bread is soaked in an egg/milk mixture that is seasoned with cinnamon and rum extract.
Bake it off in the oven for a perfectly crisp french toast with a gooey filling inside.

Banana Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large unsliced loaf French bread, bread cut into 8 slices that are about 2 inches thick (See Note)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
  • Maple syrup, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once butter is melted add the brown sugar and pinch of cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts into the butter and becomes a sauce. Add bananas and toss together. Let cook until the bananas are soft and incorporated into the sauce. Remove to a bowl and let cool completely. Once cool, add cream cheese and mash lightly with a wooden spoon.
  3. Using a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slits in 1 side of each bread slice (or croissant), cutting 3/4 of way through bread and creating pocket that leaves 3 sides of bread intact. Divide banana mixture equally among the bread pockets.
  4. In a large bowl, add eggs, heavy cream, milk, cinnamon and rum and whisk to combine. Pour mixture into a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish. Put the bread into the egg mixture and let soak for 3 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the bread from egg mixture, using a spatula, letting the excess drain off.
  5. Spray a wire rack with nonstick spray and put the rack on a baking sheet. Put the bread on the rack and transfer to the oven.
  6. Bake the French toast until it is golden brown and filling is hot, about 25 minutes. Transfer the toast on a serving platter and garnish with confectioners' sugar and maple syrup.
  7. Note: I like the suggestion that Heather mentioned. She said croissants are amazing in this recipe.

Notes

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Comments

  1. Oh yeah babe, that looks heavenly. When I regain my sense of smell I’m making that because I want to taste every note of that bad boy! :)

  2. I just had an idea…what about peanut butter? Just sayin.

  3. The same thing happened to my sister when she had kids, so don’t feel like you are alone :)

    That french toast looks great and I don’t even like bananas.

  4. Wow that looks amazing! Thanks for sharing =)