Nutella & Banana Stuffed French Toast
There’s always a struggle when it comes to cooking at home. How do we make something that’s relatively quick and easy, but isn’t the same old, same old day in and day out? Sometimes that’s the problem with cooking meals at home is trying to figure out how to break the stagnation and getting stuck in a rut. To try to keep things fresh and new, we’ve tried coming up with a food calendar where we plan out meals one month at a time so that we can make sure to vary our day-to-day meals. In addition, we sometimes add a bit more variety in our meal choices by making breakfast for dinner. What’s life without a little spice added?
It was during one of these such nights where we had breakfast for dinner that I came up with the idea of nutella & banana stuffed French toast. In our household, we like to use challah bread, when we can get our hands on it, for French toast. The eggy bread loafs are perfect for French toast as you can cut the slices of bread really thick, and it soaks up the cinnamon-milk mixture for the French toast well. This time around, I wanted to add a bit of a twist to my French toast. I had my husband cut slices of challah bread about twice as thick as we’d normally cut them. Then a slit was cut into each slice of challah. A cut that was thick enough to create a “pocket” inside the slice of bread, but not so thick that it splits the challah slice in half. At this point, the only other ingredients you need are nutella spread and slices of banana.
The first step is to open up the challah slices and then spread the nutella inside the “pocket” along one side. The hazelnut spread not only pairs well with the flavor of the bananas, but it also acts as a sort of “glue” for the banana slices. Without this “glue” the banana slices would be likely to just fall right out of the “pocket” in the challah slices as there’s nothing holding it all together. Make sure to be generous and liberal in spreading the nutella inside the “pocket”.
Now it’s time to add the banana slices into the “pocket”. Place the slices of banana right on top of the nutella you’ve already spread inside the “pocket”. Stuff as many banana slices into the “pocket” as you can fit into a single layer. Use the nutella as “glue” to secure the banana slices inside the pocket. Make sure that the banana slices don’t protrude outside of the pocket. All of the nutella and banana should remain hidden inside the “pocket”. When the “pocket” has been stuffed, close up the pocket and use the nutella to seal the opening of the “pocket”. This way, the hazelnut goodness and banana slices remain hidden away inside the challah bread.
Alright, time to actually make the French toast now. Put together your favorite French toast mixture using some combination of milk or cream, egg and spices and flavoring such as cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and vanilla extract. Dunk the challah bread slices with their hidden treasure “pockets” into the creamy mixture you’ve created. Make sure to dunk the slice on both sides so that the bread really soaks up the milk mixture and all of its flavoring.
Meanwhile, heat up a flat griddle. When the griddle is ready, take your challah bread slices and put them on the grill. Grill both sides so that all the moisture from the milk-egg mixture has cooked off. The last thing you want is runny, wet French toast. Make sure to grill both sides of each slice of challah bread and if possible, grill the sides of each piece as well. Since the slices are thick enough, you should be able to grill the sides. This will just make a consist French toast where each slice is grilled and a bit crunchy to add texture to your French toast. Grilling the side where your hidden “pocket” is will also help to seal the “pocket” shut.
When done, transfer the French toast to a plate. For color, flavor and as a hint to what’s inside the French toast, I dressed the plate up with fresh strawberry and banana slices. Dust the French toast slices with powered sugar. You can top with whipped cream and maple syrup or whatever other topping you want on your French toast. Serve and enjoy.
The surprise stuffing inside the French toast slices comes when you cut into each piece of challah bread. The heat from the griddle will have warmed and slightly melted the Nutella spread which makes for a perfect marriage of Nutella and banana. You can see in the above photo a slice of the challah bread cut up to reveal ribbons of Nutella and slices of fresh bananas stuffed inside the French toast. It’s just something fun and different than the traditional French toast. Stuffing it with your favorite fresh fruit and some sort of sauce shakes things up a bit and adds another component and layer of flavor to the dish. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t really require much time or effort to pull this off. And stuffing the French toast doesn’t require any additional cooking as you’re putting raw ingredients directly into the secret “pocket” you slice into your thick-cut challah bread. It’s just something, fun, whimsical, different and most importantly delicious to help break the monotony of the normal dinner-time, or breakfast-time routine.