- 3 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Grand Marnier Syrup:
- 1 cup Grand Marnier
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
Strawberry and Banana Stuffed French Toast:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 to 4 grates fresh nutmeg
- 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 12 slices brioche bread
- 1 cup hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
- 1 cup sliced fresh bananas
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Fresh whipped cream, for serving
- Toasted sliced almonds, for serving
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
For the macerated strawberries: In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water and stir. Bring to a simmer, and then lower the heat and swirl. Cook until the strawberries are soft (but not falling apart) and the liquid is syrupy, 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the Grand Marnier syrup: Combine the Grand Marnier, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.
For the strawberry and banana stuffed French toast: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, granulated sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Stir the cream cheese to soften, and then spread on 6 of the bread slices. Top each slice with a layer of the strawberries. Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam on the other 6 pieces of bread, and top each slice with a layer of the bananas. Place each bread slice with strawberries together with a bread slice with bananas to form 6 sandwiches. Press around the edges to seal.
Melt the butter in a nonstick saute pan (or flat griddle top) over medium-low heat. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture for a few seconds on each side, allowing any excess to drain off, and then place in the pan. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Slice in half on the diagonal and serve topped with the macerated strawberries, whipped cream, toasted almond slivers and a good dusting of confectioners' sugar. Drizzle with the Grand Marnier syrup.