By Chris De La Rosa
Confession! I don’t like ‘sweet’ foods, especially French toast… nor did I grow up seeing this being made in my home as a child in the islands. I was asked — challenged — by a fan to demonstrate my take on a Caribbean French toast, thus the recipe.
If you’re on a diet or a diabetic, I guarantee you that this recipe is not for you. However, if you’re into French Toast, you’ll love this version, especially the caramel passion fruit sauce it’s topped with. You’ll UP your brunch game with this recipe!
bread (at least day old)
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used golden brown)
1 to 1-1/2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 bananas (sliced)
1 passion fruit
1/4 teaspoon ginger (powder)
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1-1/2 tablespoon butter + coconut oil
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 cup coconut milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon (you can add a pinch of salt if you want also). Then slice the bread about 3/4 to1 inch thick and cover/soak with this mixture. Allow it to really soak in (I recommend using old bread as it will soak in the ‘batter’ better). Set aside and let’s prepare the caramel passion fruit topping.
In a saucepan (I used a non-stick pan) on medium heat, add the brown sugar and allow it to melt. It will then go frothy and amber, here’s where you’ll add the coconut milk and whisk. Do NOT allow the sugar to go darker than amber or it will make the sauce bitter. Now add the ginger and a pinch of salt and mix. It’s now time to add the passion fruit (the pulp)along with the sliced ripe banana and mix well to coat. Allow it to go for about 5 minutes, then go in with the butter and maple syrup to finish up. You’re looking for a thick sauce, so you may need to reduce it a bit, if it’s still a bit too runny.
It’s now time to toast the bread. Heat the butter and oil in a non-stick pan, on a medium flame/low flame, then add the pieces of bread, which were soaked in the coconut batter. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes. You may need to flip them a couple more times to fully cook through (about a further 2 minutes per side). If it’s getting dark, quickly, without cooking the inside thoroughly, turn the heat down a bit. My toast had a lovely golden ‘crust’ to it.
Now it’s just a matter of slicing the French toast into triangles (if that’s the way your kids like it) and top with that awesome banana-caramel-passion fruit topping we made. Keep in mind that if you wanted, you can also add a bit of dark rum in the caramel sauce and, if you prefer you could substitute plantains instead of bananas…..rock that.
While not my thing, this Coconut French Toast with the Caramel Coconut Passion Fruit topping is guaranteed to be a hit at your next Sunday brunch. I also works great, mid-week, when all you want is something rich and sweet to comfort you after a hard day at work.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections globally every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource of Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.