Sweet French Toast with Forest Fruits and Banana

Not much beats French toast for breakfast, especially when the batter is sweetened and a little cooked fruit added. It’s a breakfast best suited to the weekend, when you have a little more time to create something special. This dish is a wonderful combination of hot and cold, and of soft and crunchy textures. With bursting berries and just-ripened banana, topped with maple syrup and a vegan crème fraiche, the flavours are divine. If you’re not much of a breakfast eater, or the idea of working this hard on a Saturday morning is abhorrent to you, then this will also make an excellent dessert or even a late supper. The recipe for the batter and fruit topping is gluten free, so you just have to use your favourite gluten-free bread, whereas I used a regular artisan walnut bread for mine.


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Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Serves 2
Gluten-Free (if you change the bread)
Ingredients:
For the Batter:
1 ripe banana, mashed
250ml plant milk
Pinch salt
1 tbsp ‘No Egg’ egg replacer (made by Orgran)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
3 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup

For the Forest Fruit Topping:
1 tbsp coconut oil
250g frozen forest fruits
100g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

You will also need 4 slices of your favourite bread, plus more coconut oil for frying.

To Serve:
1 banana, cut into slices
2 heaped spoons vegan crème fraiche (I used Oatly)
2 tbsp maple syrup


Method:
First make the batter by putting all the batter ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisking until smooth. Set aside until needed.
Now make the forest fruit topping. Heat the tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan and add the forest fruits, sugar and vanilla extract. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until the berries are soft and the sauce slightly thickened. Set aside.


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Heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and dip 2 slices of bread into the batter. Carry the batter over to the pan to avoid dripping, then place the two slices of bread into the pan. The oil should be hot enough that they sizzle immediately. Cook the bread for about 4 minutes each side, until browned and crisp, then keep warm in a low oven while you cook the next batch.
To serve, put two slices of the fried bread on a plate, place half the sliced banana on top, then add a couple of spoons of the forest fruit sauce. Top with a dollop of the vegan crème fraiche and a tablespoon of maple syrup.


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