I am happy to introduce you to Athena Plichta today. She is a photographer with a love for all things scrumptious. You’ve seen her work in the last couple issues of Styled. magazine here and here. Athena will be contributing a recipe once a month for the Thursday food series and I really hope you will love her work as much as I do.
Today’s banana-nutella crepe and almond croissant breakfast is perfect for Mother’s Day or for any Saturday you might find an extra couple minutes to lounge around and treat yourself. I often dream of mornings like these relaxing with breakfast in bed!
When serving a celebratory breakfast in bed, bring in sweet finishing touches to make the morning special. Fresh flowers, small glass serving jars, miniature cookie cutters for napkin rings and newspaper printed fry liners (love these!) will do the trick making one feel loved.
Read on for the full almond croissant and banana-nutella crepe recipes… Make the easy Almond Croissants using; 4-6 stale croissants (a day or more), sliced almonds, and confectioner’s sugar (for dusting). For the simple syrup you will need 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar.
To make the almond filling use; 1/2 stick unsalted butter (at room temperature), 3/4 cup almond meal, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 teaspoon pure almond extract and 1 egg.
Preheat oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Have a second baking sheet set aside. First, make the simple syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and transfer liquid to a bowl. Cool completely.
Place butter, almond meal, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add almond extract and egg and pulse until filling is well-mixed and creamy. Scrape filling into a clean bowl, cover with plastic, and put in refrigerator until firm, about two hours.
Prepare the croissants using a serrated knife, cut a croissant in half horizontally. Brush a generous amount of syrup on top, bottom and sides of croissant. Spread about 2 tablespoons of almond filling on the inside of one half of each croissant. Sandwich the croissant and spread 1 tablespoon of filling on top. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Repeat with other croissants.
Place the croissants on a baking sheet, and cover with a piece of parchment paper, then with the second baking sheet laid on top to flatten croissants. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow croissants to cool before dusting tops with confectioner’s sugar.
Make the delicious breakfast crepes with; 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3 large eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, 1/4 teaspoon salt, additional butter, additional milk (if necessary).
Blend the milk, flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and salt until smooth. Cover and chill batter (leave in blender) at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, reblend batter 5 seconds. If necessary, add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to get consistency of heavy cream. Heat a 9- or 10-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with butter. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into pan, tilting pan quickly to evenly coat bottom. Cook for about 35 seconds, until top of crepe appears dry and bottom is golden. Loosen sides of crepe with silicone spatula, then turn over and cook for another 20 seconds, until brown spots appear on bottom. Place crepe on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Stack crepes with paper towels in between each one.
To make crepe pockets; Fold and gently cut a crepe in half. Visually divide this half circle into thirds; each third will look like a pizza slice with the “points” meeting in the middle of the straight edge of the half circle. Fill middle third of a crepe half with desired filling. With straight edge of the crepe closest to you, fold over the right third of crepe until it covers the middle. Fold the left third over the middle, creating a triangle. Voila!
To make strawberry crepes: First, macerate strawberries. Combine a pint of cut-up strawberries with about 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Make a crepe pocket with about 2 tablespoons of strawberry filling. Top with whipped cream.
To make banana-nutella crepes: Spread middle third of a crepe half with nutella. Place sliced bananas on top of nutella. Fold right side of crepe over, covering the banana-nutella spread. Finally, fold over the left side of crepe towards the middle. Top with whipped cream.
Photography and recipes by Athena Plichta for a subtle revelry.