Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast

The pace of life has been speeding up over the last few weeksfoot on the accelerator, engine revving, scenery blurred. As the intensity increases, the rare, fleeting moments of quiet are gone, replaced with packed weekends and busier weeknights. For now, I need to keep my eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, preserving whatever control I can over this runaway ride.

I'll be back soon, with stories and sweets. I promise.

I wish I could tell you that I served this Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast on a warm Sunday morning for friends and family, but real life is not always so picturesque. The reality is that I ate this dish for dinner while sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, digging into the pan with a single spoon. Though the moment was a brief pause between running from here to there, it was delicious. I wished I had someone to share it with, just so we could ooh and ahh over the dish together.

Make this to sharedecadence is enjoyed best with a friend.

Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast is a sweet addition to your brunch menu. Bananas are pureed into the milk and soaked up by the bread. The bread is drizzled with chocolate hazelnut spread in the middle and over the top to add sweetness and a rich chocolate flavor to each bite. There's no need to add maple syrup as the dish is served best plain and hot from the oven. The French toast can be made the evening before or the morning of serving. 

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Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast
Inspired by Top with Cinnamon

Yields 6 to 8 servings

3 ripe, medium bananas, divided
1/3 cup (70 grams) brown sugar, packed
6 large eggs
2 cups (475 mL) milk of choice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 loaf stale French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8-10 cups)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (185 grams) chocolate hazelnut spread, warmed gently until liquid in consistency
2 tablespoons demerara sugar (or brown sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a blender, blend together two bananas, brown sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, place 1/2 of the cubed bread and drizzle 1/2 of the chocolate hazelnut spread over the top. Layer the remaining bread and drizzle the remaining chocolate hazelnut spread. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the bread, making sure each piece is coated.* Slice the remaining banana and place slices on the top. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, or until lightly browned and souffle-like in appearance. Serve immediately.

* For overnight baked French toast, wrap the pan tightly and refrigerate until the next morning. Add sliced banana and demerara sugar just before baking.

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Kristin Rosenau

Photographer, writer, and baker of all things sweet.

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