Do you even need convincing with this one? It sure as hell beats a bowl of wheaties in the morning. Recipe after the break.
5 Tbsp Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
8 slices of banana (about 1 banana)
10 slices of day old italian or french bread, 1/2 inch thick
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
butter, for frying
Spread the dark chocolate peanut butter onto one side of five slices of the bread. Place three banana slices on top of the peanut butter.
Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the pb/banana slices, making 5 “sandwiches”. Smush them a bit so they stay together.
Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow baking dish large enough to soak all 5 sandwiches. Coat the “sandwiches” thoroughly in the milk/egg/cinnamon/vanilla mixture. Let them soak 10 minutes on one side, then turn and let soak for 10 minutes on the other side so the bread is saturated. If you don’t let it soak, it will end up tasting like a dark chocolate peanut butter banana panini… which is certainly good, just not quite french toast-like.
Melt butter in a non-stick pan that’s large enough to fit all 5 sandwiches and fry until toasty brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. I don’t think these need syrup, but some powdered sugar is perfect. When I was preparing mine, I skimped a little on the dark chocolate peanut butter on the insides of the sandwiches, so we just put some additional regular peanut butter on as a topping. It made for a nice way to start the day.
The Little Grocery in Hoboken, NJ is a small french cafe that makes the best french toast I’ve ever eaten. It’s just the right touch of moist and buttery. I asked the store owner/super chef, Neamet Elsayed how he makes his fantastic french toast. He said that the trick is to use brioche.
Brioche? Really? But just about every recipe you read on the internet says to use day old italian or french bread, including the one posted above. But he claims softer is better, and I believe him. He said to slice the brioche (he uses brioche from Balthazar in NYC and slices it about an inch thick), leave it out for 5 minutes, then soak it for 5 minutes and fry or bake in an oven.
French toast is one of my favorite breakfast foods and I have yet to make one myself that even comes close to the one sold at The Little Grocery. I am very excited to test this theory. To be continued…