I have a slight obsession with Disney Cookbooks.
There is something about cooking up a Disney favorite that makes me feel like I’m a part of that world half a continent away. I’ve tried several different recipes, but until this past week I had not tackled my ultimate Disney love, Tonga Toast. For those unfamiliar with this decadent Disney dish, it is a heavenly breakfast item at Disney’s Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe. Essentially it is a banana-stuffed sourdough french toast, but it is so much more than that too. The flavor profile is indescribable. It is both light and heavy, has just enough cinnamon to put in some zing, and the banana inside is simply…yum.
Before I get to the recipe links I’ll show you Saturday’s beautiful breakfast. I’m quite proud of how it turned out.
*Note* The recipe calls for a loaf of uncut sourdough, which I can never find at the grocery store. So, I bought a loaf and just put the pieces together sandwich style rather than slitting the top. This made the portion size smaller, which is perfect because the actual size, as you can see from above, is massive. We’re talking a slab of bread between 3 and 4 inches thick. By layering two regular slices it is probably a third of the thickness, with all of the flavor.
Oddly, there seem to be multiple recipes for Tonga Toast, even within official Disney cookbooks and sites. I’m not entirely sure why this is the case, but it has allowed me to experiment a bit this week with a couple different variations.
On Christmas Eve I cooked up the version that I have in my Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook. This version is really simple, I mean s.i.m.p.l.e. Ingredients needed are a loaf of sourdough bread, bananas, cinnamon, sugar and canola oil. That is it. Just slice, stuff, fry, and dredge. Oh, and eat. It was delicious, but extremely heavy. The oil just sort of sits in your stomach for the rest of the day. It was worth it though for a taste of Disney on Christmas Eve, and a huge hit with my picky 3-year-old.
Saturday I felt that it was another Tonga Toast Day, but decided to try a different recipe to see if I could get around the overwhelming amount of oil. This time around I opted for the recipe from the Taste of Disney website.
The version from Taste of Disney, an official Disney site, includes a batter for the toast, thus making it closer to a traditional French Toast. I didn’t follow this recipe exactly, cutting down a bit on the amount of oil and increasing the vanilla, (we love vanilla). I definitely preferred this recipe, as I found the batter to significantly cut down on the amount of oil the bread absorbed. I also drained the pieces on a paper towel-covered wire rack for about 5 minutes before coating them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. My husband was in agreement that this recipe was superior to the one in my cookbook. My 3-year-old didn’t have much to say; he was too busy eating and watching the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade we had recorded.
One thing, however, is missing from my Tonga Toast recipes…the recipe for the Strawberry Compote!
I’ve seen several other recipes floating around online, and may give one or two of them a try in the future, but for now, I recommend the Taste of Disney recipe, and even found a link to a Disney Parks Blog video. I hope you enjoy!