Banana bread french toast

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There are times for watching what we eat and then there are times that are more about eating than watching. During festive times, it’s mostly the latter. i mean, there’s plenty of time to get back into our minimalist diets when the year gets back on a roll, isn’t there? i always go on about how chefs neglect breakfast, but in recent years, i’ve become a big fan of the first meal of the day. while having eggs for breakfast (which we celebrate in jan the journal vol 4) is always a classic, i recently brought together two of my fondest childhood treats in conjuring up an epic new breakfast treat.

Every now and again, my mother would make us French toast on a Saturday morning from leftover, homemade farm bread. My heart would always leap out of my chest from excitement at the first smell of this egg-soaked delight wafting from the direction of the kitchen that, oddly, the French have less of an affinity for. The other big treat was banana bread, which — no matter how challenging a L.O. les (Physical Education class) I had at school — would always brighten my day when I discovered it in my lunchbox. Why it took so long for me to bring the two together is a mystery.

JAN | Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen | Banana bread french toast

for the banana bread French toast

3 eggs

100 ml milk

5 ml ground cinnamon

butter for frying the toast

4 slices of shop-bought banana bread (good quality of course, but if you have a homemade one, it’s first class)

for the fresh cherries and mascarpone topping

180 g fresh cherries

125 g mascarpone cheese

fynbos honey

for the bacon and honey topping

3 smoked pork rashers (these rashers are thicker cut than bacon)

125 g mascarpone cheese

fynbos honey

for the banana bread French toast


Whisk the eggs, milk and cinnamon together in large mixing bowl. Melt a good lump of butter over low heat in a large frying pan.

Place the banana bread slices, one at a time, into the egg mixture. Let the bread soak up the egg mixture for a few seconds and then carefully turn to coat the other side. Coat only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time.

Transfer the egg-coated banana bread slices to the frying pan. Fry slowly until the bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side.

Serve the French toast with one of the following toppings.

for the fresh cherries and mascarpone topping

Remove the pips from the cherries and slice them in half. Place one slice of fried banana bread on a plate. Spoon the mascarpone cheese onto the slice and top with the sliced cherries.

Sandwich with another slice of French toast and top with mascarpone cheese and cherries.

Drizzle with honey and serve immediately.

for the bacon and honey topping

Cut the bacon rashers into small chunks and fry until crispy.

Place one slice of fried banana bread on a plate. Top with mascarpone cheese and scatter with bacon rashers. Place another slice of French toast on top and finish it off with more mascarpone cheese, bacon and a good drizzle of honey.

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