Mascarpone-Stuffed French Toast with Banana-Cardamom-Brown Sugar Topping
For the French Toast:
1 medium loaf challah or brioche
1/2 c. mascarpone
4 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. half-and-half, cream, or mixture of milk and cream/half-and-half
5 large eggs
Pinch of salt
2-4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. dark rum
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom, fresh if possible )
3 ripe bananas
You can make the custard the night before as well: whisk half-and-half, eggs, salt and 2 tablespoons of the honey together.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag or ziploc with the tip snipped off. Fill the cavities in the bread with the cheese mixture. I found this part really hard! Alett had to help me by propping the bread holes open with two forks while I squeezed cheese out of the ziploc bag, then poking the cheese in after I took out the bag.
Put the bread into the fridge while you pre-heat the oven and get the custard ready to give the cheese a little time to chill. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300 and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Pour the custard mix into a pie plate. Put a cooling rack over some paper towels. Put each slice of bread into the custard and hold down for 30 seconds; flip and hold down for another 30. Put the custard-soaked slices onto the cooling rack; this allowed the custard to really seep into the bread, and the paper towels catch any drippings. I ended up just using a bowl and it turned out okay except for the last piece, which could not fit into the remaining egg mixture. I poured the egg mixture over it while it was on the cooling rack. Check out Alett's arrangement of bacon strips.
Cook each piece of French toast for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer all the toast to a baking sheet and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until cooked through. The last few ended up with gorgeous color striations.
Check out the finished bacon:
Put all the ingredients except the bananas into a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is bubbling; it will just be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. I ground up fresh cardamom in a spare coffee grinder. The fresh cardamom really made a difference!
Slice the bananas and toss them with the sauce. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until the bananas are heated through. The sauce will thicken a bit when off the heat.
Then Alett tossed them with the sauce.
Pour over french toast, pancakes, waffles or ice cream and enjoy. We totally did!