Recipe: Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast

Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast... now doesn't that sound just about as yummy as it can get?   Well it does to me.. and it was as yummy as it sounds!
Sunday morning 7 am... criminal that I was even up that early on a Sunday morning.... there outta be a law against it... so I was standing in the kitchen trying to decide just what to stuff into my French Toast... there I was bent over peering into the fridge... cream cheese?  ahhh... I spied a container of mascarpone just waiting to be used... perfect!
I thought about the usual berry fruits... I had everything I would need... but on this particular Sunday morning I was being picky.. I wanted something different....
The bunch of bananas by the bread box caught my eye... and ... well... the rest is history.
Bananas Foster .... bananas with a rum brown sugar sauce.... hmmmm hmmm ... yesiree that was the ticket.
Bananas Foster has a rum and banana liqueur based sauce... you can use the real thing or substitute rum extract... which I've done in this recipe... if you want to use the real thing... here is a link to Brennan'sRestaurant website where you will find the original recipe.
You can use either cream cheese or mascarpone.. the mascarpone gave it a really nice smooth flavor.. I would not recommend sweetening either one .. there is more than enough sweet in the rest of the recipe.. the tangy cheese is a nice balance...the batter that the bread will get has sugar in it, the bananas have a little sauce and then the sweet sauce is put over it too...
I didn't list a quantity for the mascarpone... the amount will depend on how big your bread is.. use enough to have a nice thick amount in there.. like you would shmear (like that word???... New York roots.. what can I tell you) it on a cream cheese and jelly sandwich ...a generous cream cheese and jelly sandwich.
I use fat free half and half... it cuts the fat without cutting the taste or texture... you can substitute whole milk or regular half and half... if using whole milk ... the batter will not be as creamy.

To cut the fat even further ... you can use egg substitute (like Egg Beaters).. they will not change the taste or texture of the French toast.
You will notice I also use butter flavored cooking oil spray... that will also cut the fat.. you can substitute melted butter if you prefer.
The powdered sugar over the top is not totally necessary.. but it makes for a really nice touch.
This recipe may sound difficult or complicated at first glance.. but it really isn't... the sauce cooks quickly... it really is done in about 20-30 minutes... depending on if you're good at multi-tasking.
Plan one stuffed French Toast per person.. they are filling.
The recipe below made two servings... I did have a little egg batter left but not enough to really speak of.
Make sure you let the "sandwich soak for the full 2 minutes a side... you want that egg to seep into the bread.
I used a Country White Bread I purchased from the grocery store's bakery.
Try this wonderful breakfast... a great idea for a romantic breakfast for two...

Recipe:  Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast
All you need:
Thick sliced Country White or Wheat Bread (or Challah)
Mascarpone or cream cheese *See TIPS
2 bananas, sliced then diced
Powdered sugar for garnish
Butter flavored cooking oil spray *See TIPS
For the Batter:
1 cup fat free half and half
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sugar
For the Sauce:
2 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
All you need to do:
Mix the batter ingredients well and set aside.
Combine the sauce ingredients over medium high heat, stirring frequently until sugar has melted and sauce begins to thicken.
In a small bowl combine the diced banana and about 2 tablespoons of sauce, stir well to coat.
Cut the bread into 2 inch thick slices.  Then make a cut in the middle of the top of the slice... going down to almost the end but not quite.. you want the bread to stay connected.
Generously spread the mascarpone into the center of the bread (like a sandwich)... then spread a generous amount of banana mixture over the cheese.
Pour the batter into a baking dish or wide bowl.  place the "sandwiches" one at a time into the batter.  Wait 2 minutes then flip them over and wait another 2 minutes.  Remove the battered sandwich to a baking rack over paper towels and let them drain for a minute or 2.
Spray a griddle with butter flavored cooking oil spray and heat it over medium high heat.  Add the battered sandwiches and cook until the bottom is golden, then flip and cook the other side until it is golden (about 2 minutes a side).  Adjust heat as necessary.
Remove to a plate and cut in half.  Drizzle (okay... pour) the sauce over the halves and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  You can also garnish this with some additional diced bananas.
Serve immediately.

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