Toast with the Most

A chef's holiday gift

Every holiday season, New York City- and Napa-based chef Brad Farmerie blends batches of homemade hazelnut-chocolate spread, and his wife, Jocelyn, packages it as holiday gifts for friends and family. Farmerie is keen on adding the addicting mixture to his banana-and-bacon-stuffed French toast. We wholly support this tack, but we're just as likely to be found scooping it straight from the jar.

Recipe adapted from Brad Farmerie, The Thomas, Napa, CA

French Toast Stuffed With Hazelnut-Chocolate Spread, Bananas And Bacon
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French Toast Stuffed with Hazelnut-Chocolate Spread, Bananas and Bacon
Servings
4
servings
Ingredients
  • Hazelnut-Chocolate Spread
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • ½ pound milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup demerara or light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  •  
  • French toast
  • 8 bacon strips
  • 8 thick slices of sourdough bread (about 1 medium loaf)
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin pieces, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • Maple syrup (preferably Grade B), for serving
Directions
  1. Make the hazelnut-chocolate spread: Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub to remove as much of the skins as possible. Add the warm nuts, chocolate, sugar and salt to a food processor and purée until smooth, adding the oil in a slow and steady stream until well combined. Transfer the hazelnut-chocolate spread to an airtight container and keep at room temperature. (It will thicken over a few days. To loosen to a slightly more spreadable consistency, heat in the microwave for about 5 seconds.) 2. Make the French toast: In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until the strips are browned and crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Use a pair of tongs to remove the slices from the pan and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Lay the sourdough bread on a cutting board. Evenly coat each bread slice with the hazelnut-chocolate spread (reserve extra hazelnut-chocolate spread for serving).
  3. In a medium bowl, use a fork to smash together about half of the bananas slices until a chunky mash forms. Spread the mashed bananas over 4 of the hazelnut-chocolate spread bread slices. Coarsely chop the bacon and sprinkle over the banana mash. Place the sliced bananas on top of the bacon and cover with the remaining 4 hazelnut-chocolate spread slices, pressing down lightly so they stick together. Place the sandwiches in a single layer in a large, ovenproof baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the milk. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the sandwiches and carefully turn them over to coat evenly with the egg-milk mixture.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter is melted, add two of the sandwiches and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully flip and cook the other side until golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sandwiches. Halve the stuffed French toast on a bias, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with maple syrup and additional hazelnut-chocolate spread on the side.
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