Preheat oven to 180C. Roast almonds on an oven tray, shaking occasionally, until browned. Transfer to an oiled oven tray and set aside. Stir sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook until dark caramel (3-4 minutes). Pour over almonds and stand until set, then process in a food processor to a fine powder.
Bring cream to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add chocolate, remove from heat, then whisk until smooth and combined. Stir in almond mixture, transfer to
a container and refrigerate until firm.
For salted caramel, stir sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook until caramel (6-8 minutes). Add butter (be careful as hot caramel will spit) and whisk to combine. Add cream (be careful as mixture will foam and rise) and 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste) and whisk to combine. Keep warm.
Spread half the brioche slices thickly with chocolate mixture, then top with sliced banana. Sandwich with remaining brioche slices and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl to combine, then transfer to a tray. Stand sandwiches in egg mixture, turning once, until soaked (2 minutes), then shake off excess.
Heat half the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming, add half the sandwiches and cook, turning once, until golden (2-3 minutes each side). Transfer to an oven tray, wipe out pan and repeat with remaining butter and sandwiches, then warm sandwiches in oven for 5 minutes. Serve hot, drizzled with warm salted caramel.
Note French toast is usually thought of as a
breakfast or brunch dish, but the all-out indulgence of this
version makes it suitable as a dessert too - or for any time of the