For the custard, I modified a crème anglaise from the Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft book. This will do enough custard to serve about 12 people:
1 cup milkThis is just like all the other custards I do (what can I say, I love custards). The trick here is to thicken the custard without curdling the eggs into scrambled eggs. This is accomplished by being careful about not heating the eggs to quickly, and not heating them past 175°F.
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
So we start with mixing the egg yolks and half of the sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks until they're light and foamy.
Now mix the milk, cream, salt and the remains of the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. While mixing the eggs, slowly add the hot cream mixture. This is how you slowly raise the temperature of the eggs (tempering), by adding the cream slowly. Once you've added all of the cream, put it into a double boiler, and heat, stirring constantly. Now you'll want to watch the temperature. When it hits 175°F, immediately pour it through a sieve into a bowl.
If you start to make chunks in your beautiful sauce, you can still save it. Pour it into a blender, and blend in batches. Chill for a few hours.
Immediately prior to serving, start the banana topping. This is modified from a friend's recipe for bananas Foster:
6 tbsp butterMelt the butter in a saucepan. Add the remaining material, save the rum, and cook over medium heat until the bananas are slightly softened, and the sugar is caramelizing.
½ C packed dark brown sugar
fine zest of 1 lemon
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 ripe, peeled bananas, halved langthwise
¼ C dark rum
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Stir in the rum, and turn the heat down to low.
Slice 1 loaf of brioche and cut off the crusts.
Brioche is perfect for French toast, because it's so moist and spongy, and just sucks up the French toast liquid.
Pour the custard into a shallow bowl or plate. Heat some butter in a medium-hot heavy pan. Dredge the pieces of brioche in the custard, and place them gently in the hot pan.
Flip after a couple of minutes.
Cook 1-2 more minutes, until browned.
Serve hot. Pour some of the banana goo on top, and with a small scoop of ice cream.
This. is. ridiculous. While warm, this is a ridiculous dessert. It's essentially fried custard cake with bananas Foster on top. Simply amazing.
We served with a Pillitteri cabernet franc icewine. What an amazing end to a meal.