Sweet Cream French Toast with Maple Ice Cream, House-made Walnut Granola, Bacon Caramel, and Apples Compote

Adapted by StarChefs.com
November 2009
Yield: 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Bacon Caramel
200 grams applewood smoked bacon
2 cups cream
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Banana Chips
2 ripe but firm bananas, very thinly sliced
Confectioners sugar as needed
Walnut Granola
325 grams chopped walnuts
310 grams quick-cooking oats
50 grams unsweetened coconut flakes
100 grams brown sugar
100 grams honey
50 grams light corn syrup
50 grams canola oil
salt to taste
Maple Ice Cream
3 ¼ cups maple syrup
2 ¼ cups cream
5 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup milk powder
2 cups egg yolks
2 sheets gelatin
¼ cup corn syrup
French Toast Custard
2 cups milk
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon whiskey
French Toast
8 pieces brioche, crusts trimmed and cut into 2 by 3 ½-inch pieces
French toast custard
1 quart clarified butter
Apple Compote
2 Honeycrisp apples
½ cup sugar
30 grams butter
Pinch salt
lemon juice
Assemble and Serve
Aged maple syrup
Maldon sea salt

METHOD:

For the Bacon Caramel:
Dice the bacon and cook over medium heat until golden. Add cream and return to a simmer. Blend with an immersion blender and allow to infuse refrigerated, overnight. On the day of service return to bacon mixture to medium heat and cook to a near simmer. Strain through a chinois, discarding solids. In another sauce pan put sugar, corn syrup and ½ cup water over high heat and cook to a light caramel. Add bacon-infused cream and salt and return to a simmer. Blend with immersion blender until smooth.

For the Banana Chips:
Preheat oven to 200°F. Lay banana slices onto a Silpat that has been lightly dusted in sifted confectioners sugar. Dust again over the tray of cut bananas. Cook until dry and crisp, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove while warm and store in an airtight container with silica gel.

For the Granola:
Turn oven up to 275°F. Mix the nuts, oats, coconut and brown sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, corn syrup, oil and salt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being sure to coat all the oats. Spread the mixture over a Silpat and bake, stirring gently every 15 minutes so as not to disrupt the clusters, between 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.

For the Ice Cream:
Reduce maple syrup over a medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until it begins to resemble caramel. Add the cream to stop cooking and put the mixture in a baine marie. In the same pot that held the maple mixture, bring milk, sugar, and milk powder to a near boil. Temper in the yolks and return the mixture to heat to thicken. Remove from heat, add gelatin and corn syrup and strain through a chinois over the maple caramel mixture. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions and chill until needed.

For the Custard:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Strain.

For the French Toast:
Soak brioche in custard until saturated. Heat the clarified butter over a medium-high heat until it reaches 300°F. A few pieces at a time, deep fry the brioche in the clarified butter until golden brown. Pour the butter through a coffee filter and wipe out the pot between batches to keep the butter clean.

For the Apple Compote:
Skin apples and dice into ½ inch squares. Cook a dry caramel with the sugar over medium heat until it reaches a medium-dark shade. Add the apples and stir. Caramel will seize. Add butter, swirling to dissolve the sugar. Cook until apples are just becoming tender. Season with salt and lemon as needed. Reserve covered in a warm place.

To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape the banana chips into convex molds, using a small tray heated in the oven. Remove the tray from the often and lay the chip on it to soften. Quickly wrap the softened chip around preferred mold; a large cannoli mold or thick dowel works well. Heat French toast in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes just before serving. Spread bacon caramel across the center of the plate. Make a bed of apple compote and top with quenelle of maple ice cream. Put French next to ice cream with a spoonful of granola. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of aged maple syrup and garnish with a pinch of Maldon sea salt.