By Kim Choe
I realise this sounds like an unnecessarily decadent concept: cake and French toast are each perfectly delicious on their own; who would risk combining them?
Texans, that’s who. Those at Austin’s South Congress Cafe, specifically. Their carrot cake French toast is what inspired this madness. The decadent combination of sticky cake enrobed in crisp batter seems to be approaching legendary status – just about every Austinite knows and loves it.
I decided to go with a sweet loaf rather than a cake for this recipe – it’s a little less sweet and also more structurally robust, making it easier to fry.
Banana bread French toast
Make the banana bread a day before you plan to serve the French toast so it has a chance to cool completely and firm up.
For the banana bread
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 3/4 cup wholemeal flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup overripe bananas, mashed (2-3 large bananas)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup canola or other neutral-flavoured oil
- 1/3 cup milk
For the French toast batter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- Butter for frying
- Icing sugar
- Fresh fruit, for serving
- Preheat oven to 180degC (356degF).
- Line or grease a 6cm deep, 22cm loaf pan.
- Combine the flours, baking powder, mixed spice and sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
- Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl, then add gradually to flour mixture.
- Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45min to 1 hour, or whenever a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool completely (preferably overnight) before slicing into slices 1.5cm thick (about half an inch).
- Make the French toast batter by beating the egg and milk together well.
- Melt enough butter in a frying pan to coat the bottom.
- Dip the slices of banana bread into the batter, ensuring they are coated well on all sides.
- Shake off the excess and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and with a side of fresh fruit. (Add honey or maple syrup if it's not quite sweet enough for you yet!)
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