Chef John Folse's Bananas Foster Inspired Pain Perdu

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Yields: 4 Servings

This recipe, adapted from one by Emeril Lagasse, helped the Hammond High Pro-Start culinary team win the state title and progress to the regional culinary competition in Charlotte, North Carolina.

2 bananas, sliced
4 slices French bread
4 tbsps sugar
4 tbsps butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsps rum
2 eggs
4 tbsps milk
2 oranges, juice and zest reserved
2 tsps cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
8 tbsps powdered sugar, plus 4 tsps for garnish
3 tbsps chopped pecans

In a sauté pan, melt 2 tbsps butter. Add pecan pieces and sauté, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in syrup and bring the sauce to a simmer. Remove from heat and add rum. Carefully replace pan on heat and flame sauce. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon and vanilla. Soak bread in egg mixture. Whisk cream until slightly stiff. Add 8 tbsps powdered sugar and continue whisking until stiff. Place whipped cream in a pastry bag with a large tip and chill. In a non-stick skillet, melt 2 tbsps butter. Pan fry bread slices until golden on both sides. Dust bread with 2 tsps powdered sugar. Arrange on plate. Add sliced bananas to syrup and gently heat. Pour syrup over pain perdu and garnish with generous amounts of whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon.