Lately I’ve been intrigued by a few things.
– Plexin D1, a gene which plays a part in body fat distribution. Apple? Pear? Somewhere in between? This may be the reason why. Scientists carried out their experiments on zebrafish, and those genetically engineered to lack the gene showed less abdominal (visceral) fat. Interestingly enough, humans with Type 2 diabetes have more Plexin D1. The beer belly syndrome is a highly underrated danger; those with more of a paunch have a much higher chance of contracting heart disease. Evidently, the implications of the exercise are pretty mammoth. The experiments were carried out on zebrafish because they have transparent bodies. Imagine being a zebrafish! That’s really taking the phrase ‘I can see right through you’ to the next level.
– The burning sensation you get when you hold a mouthful of coke on your tongue
– The Myers-Briggs test (ENTJ, anyone?)
– The fact that one can turn anything, anything into French toast.
I had the urge to make my favourite breakfast dish ever yesterday morning because my dear mom always returns home on the weekends after running errands with bags full of junk snacks (I’ll pass on a few) and fresh bread from the bakery (yes!!!). I was actually planning to make my own loaf, with some exotic fillings or less-touched flour type (hey, spelt or rye), but the chocolate swirl brioche was just screaming to be dunked in a lush, eggy bath, after being stuffed silly with fruit, and in the case of this particular morning, an almond butter cream. More on that a little later. It’s a pity I forgot to take a shot of this cream, but I guess imagination can right a wrong.
Fruit combinations are always a problem for me; my relationship with these mature divine ovaries is like that between monkeys and bananas– any type and degree of ripeness works fine with me. I go with flow, peel a few random things and throw em together. It’s a fruity party here all the time. Yesterday morning, I grabbed half a banana and fresh raspberries which I bought to use a little later in the week, ignoring my initial plan to mix a bit of blue and gold, for I did acknowledge the existence of some frozen berries and mangoes the day before. Sometimes, things demand spontaneity. The sweet banana of medium ripeness played up the pleasant sourness of fresh raspberry, the aftertaste of flowers bursting like the dawn of summer in my mouth. The almond cream is definitely optional, but I love how it adds a earthy flavour component whilst binding the fruit and stodge together nicely on the inside, especially if the batter only penetrated the surface of day(s)-old bread. You get a wonderful, slightly gooey plate of eggy bread, moist and saturated all the way through.
Banana and Raspberry Stuffed Buttermilk French Toast (serves 1)
half a banana, sliced into coins
handful of fresh or frozen raspberries
knob of butter
splash of buttermilk and one tsp vanilla extract
1 thick slice (2 inches is perfect) of brioche/challah, can be 1-2 days old
*almond butter cream: mix together a tablespoon of almond butter and a teaspoon of almond milk (or any milk, really)
Preheat your pan on a medium heat, and ready some butter. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla with a fork. Take your bread and, with a knife, cut a deep horizontal pocket into one of the the 4 2-inch sides of the french toast. You could cut your slice horizontally all the way so you end up with 2 thinner slices of bread to sandwich the filling, but I like the cute idea of a pocket holding everything in nicely together. Once you’ve cut a pocket, stuff the inside with the almond butter cream, then fill to the brim with the banana coins (you can mash the banana, if you wish, but I prefer cutting/biting into the gooey chunks) and raspberries.
Butter the pan and let it sizzle. The pan should be hot when you hold your hand a few inches above the surface of the pan. Dunk one side of the bread into the buttermilk-egg mixture and let the bread soak for 5-10 seconds. Flip and let the other side soak for a little while less. Lift the slice and let any excess batter drip off. Lay the slice on the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. You should hear a sizzle once it hits the pan, else it’s not hot enough. Fret not. Simply wait a little while longer and take a peek at the doneness with your spatula. Once browned, flip and hear the sizzle once more.
To serve, place on a plate (may cut in half however which way you want, and this step is highly recommended for visual pleasure– watch that goo!), then top with whipped cream and maple syrup or honey.