Walk twenty feet in any direction at The Cape in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and you will hear about french toast. The eyes of every staff member and enlightened guest widen as they describe a simple soaked dough as if some benevolent alien beamed down the breakfast we’ve all been missing. In fact, I’m actually not sure they let anyone leave the hotel without trying the dish at least once.
In the land of chilaquiles and huevos rancheros, it may seem unusual to feature a meal so seemingly Euro-American, especially just before a date with an ocean wave. But trust the legions of fans. Order room service and give into the tropical scented brioche.
The menu item achieves new levels of decadence through enhancements to every accompaniment—caramelized bananas and swirls of luxurious vanilla seeds in the whipped cream. Coconut milk adds richness and imbues the bread with the qualities of a tres leches cake. If you aren’t finding yourself sunning on the Mexican coast anytime soon, make this in the comfort of home, and invite some very fortunate friends.
Banana French Toast from The Ledge
Yields: 3 servings
- 1 loaf brioche bread, cut to 1.5-inch slices
- 12 raspberries, or desired fruit
- 1 vanilla bean, pulp and seeds, pod discarded
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 3 tsp. clarified butter
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 banana, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. plus a pinch cinnamon
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. white sugar
- 1 cup high-quality whipping cream
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sliced almonds
Directions for the batter:
Mix ½ cup coconut milk, ¾ cup whole milk, ½ of the pulp, seeds from 1 vanilla bean, and 3 eggs. Keep cool in the refrigerator.
Directions for the roasted banana:
Heat 2 teaspoon clarified butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and arrange the banana slices in the pan, cooking both sides until slightly golden. Dust with a pinch of cinnamon and remove from the heat. Set aside.
Directions for cinnamon sugar and whipped cream toppings:
Combine ½ cup white sugar and 2 tablespoon cinnamon and reserve for later.
Whisk 1 cup whipping cream in a stainless steel bowl until you get a consistent, firm cream. Fold in 2 tablespoon white sugar and the other ½ of the pulp and seeds from the vanilla bean. Keep cool in the refrigerator.
Directions for sweet almond topping:
Heat ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar until a light syrup forms. Mix in 1 cup sliced almonds. Remove almonds from the syrup and spread across a baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes at approximately 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn almonds and bake for another 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Directions for the French Toast (1 serving):
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Soak two slices of the brioche bread in the batter for 10 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon clarified butter to the pan and cook each slice in the pan, about 4 minutes per side or until slightly brown. Remove bread from the pan, plate and dust with the cinnamon sugar on both sides; top with roasted bananas, whipped cream, almonds and raspberries (or desired fruit). Drizzle with syrup of choice and (optional) a mint sprig to garnish.