I once read in a book that there is no such thing as a coincidence. The story went that when something or someone repeatedly crossed your path there was a cosmic reason behind it.
The author continued on to explain that you should not just dismiss these occurrences as coincidence, but actively pursue them to determine how it could change the path of your life.
Of course the people in this book, if I remember correctly, could also see energy and eventually crossed into another astral plane, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment…
Now it’s no secret that I love a bit of mad-scientist recipe development, and that one of my favourite things to do is give a makeover to traditional not-so-healthy desserts. So when I recently asked readers what treats they wished were healthy, the answers immediately started my head spinning and my pencil scribbling.
Funny thing is, although I’m not really a croissant person and had never eaten an almond version in my life, one of the comments that stuck out most to me was from Emma saying she missed Almond Croissants.
From that point on I couldn’t stop thinking about them and then, coincidentally – or entirely not coincidentally but cosmically destined, I started noticing Almond Croissants everywhere.
About the same time, I was entirely stuck on what to make for the July Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – ‘Sweet Surprise’ theme. I wanted to tackle a Checkerboard or a Pinata Cake, or even a Crookie, but there was no reason to bake a huge cake and absolutely no reason to wrap an oreo in puff pastry.
Then it hit me, Almond Croissants have almond cream inside them, how perfect for a ‘sweet surprise inside’ themed dessert. I could make them over, with no dairy, and no refined sugar – or even fructose – and I could eat.them.for.breakfast.
I could hear the French accented cries already, “don’t mess with zee almond croisssssant…“, but as usual I went along my merry mad-science way, final product set firmly in my sights.
I love it when a plan comes together – or should I say when the planets align – either way, we had Almond Croissants for breakfast. Oh, one more thing, yesterday morning a few hours after making these I realised it was Bastille Day. Coincidence? I think not.
Almond Croissants get a makeover
Flaky pastry, sweet and creamy filling, just crisp top and edges – purists will have a fit but these little morsels are simply divine.
Makes 8 – 10
- 10 – 12 sheets filo pastry, divided
- 1/4 c coconut oil, melted, plus more if needed
- handful sliced almonds
For the almond cream filling
- 1/4 c [50 g] coconut oil, firm
- 1/4 c rice syrup
- 1/2 c blanched almond meal
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp white spelt flour
For the orange syrup
- 1/2 c fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbsp amaretto liquor
Make almond cream filling, can be done a day in advance
Using an electric hand mixer beat coconut oil for 4-5 mins until creamy and thick. Beat in rice syrup for a minute, followed by almond meal.
Add egg and salt and beat for 2-3 minutes, don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled, just keep beating. Stir through flour. Refrigerate until required.
Make orange syrup, can be done a day in advance
Simmer orange juice over low heat until reduced by half. Stir through amaretto and let cool.
Make croissant rolls
Preheat oven to 180C [350F], line a tray or two with baking paper.
Place one sheet of filo on your benchtop, drizzle over a bit of coconut oil and brush to spread evenly. Top with second sheet of filo, brush with oil, repeat with third and fourth sheets. Top with fifth sheet but do not brush with oil.
Make five cuts through filo stack: Trim a centimeter or so of rough edge off left short side; slice filo stack into four strips, each 10 cm [4 inches] wide and the length of the short side; trim off right rough edge with your last cut.
Working with one strip at a time. cut top half into a point, reserving extra bits. Spread 1 Tbsp almond cream onto the bottom rectangle section. Brush top triangle section with coconut oil, fit reserved bits onto point, brush with orange syrup.
Roll, folding about six or seven times from base to point. Brush roll well with syrup, top with 1/2 Tbsp almond cream and some sliced almonds.
Place on prepared tray, leaving at least a few inches between rolls as filling will spread as they bake, you may need two trays.
Repeat with remaining strips then remaining filo sheets to make 8 rolls.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, turning tray part way through.
Move on to wire rack immediately to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- If it is really warm in your kitchen your coconut oil may be too melt-y to whip, cool it in fridge first. Once rice syrup is added it should look like this.
- I had a bit of extra filling so I layered two extra filo sheets with oil, folded it in half to make four layers, cut it to two strips and folded it into triangle parcels.
- If you want sweeter croissants simply sprinkle the almond cream layer with a bit of unrefined rapadura or panela sugar [just remember it won’t be fructose free though].
vegetarian // dairy free // refined sugar free
This post is part of the July Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – Sweet Surprise – hosted by guest hostess Love Swah.
SABH is a monthly blog hop brought to you by Dining With a Stud, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader, and me – 84th & 3rd.
Make sure to check out all the other creations that have been linked-up below!
HMMMMMMMMM. I am intrigued! I do love an almond croissant, and I lOve filo, this might be right up my street.
Croissants… without butter?! Amazing! You know these would kill me but they look absolutely delicious, I wish I could try them!
haha I thought about that ;D Very adaptable to hazelnut meal…
Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy says
How very clever! Nice work JJ. I love the little clip in the recipe too. Croissants are such a decadent treat, making them an everyday food is genius.
Thanks Krystie – still not quite everyday but a bit less heart-attack-y 😉
brenda hayes says
Ummm,do they taste like the things Ro used to make for breakfast years ago?
No actually, but you’d think they would! I need to find that recipe in September…
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Beautiful croissants, I love the almond cream filling!
Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas says
I am quite partial to almond croissants but always find them very rich. Clever you for working out an alternative.
Tina @ bitemeshowme says
Now this is VERY clever! Love your thinking JJ!
Luvly! Oui, I would love an almond croissant or even two. I think everyone should do some mad-scientist recipe developing from time to time.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
JJ strikes again. These sound amazing! I love how fluffy they look too. You’re a genius!
haha aw shucks Claire ;D
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Interesting. I bet these tasted great!
A croissant makeover is inspired! Just one question – does the filo pastry have butter in it, or do you use one made with vegetable/coconut oil?
While puff pastry usually has butter most filo is only flour/water or sometimes a bit of oil – the one I use says sunflower oil the package, there is very little fat in it. 🙂
Simon @ the heart of food says
Interesting recipe. Certainly easier than making croissants from scratch. Nice work with the animated gif too. Very instructional 🙂
My Kitchen Stories says
I would have to agree JJ. I think things are quite often cosmically planned. I hope you enjoyed your breakfast you tease!
Helen (Grab Your Fork) says
I love almond croissants – this has only given me cravings!
They look AMAZING! Thanks so much for following up on my suggestion (and for the mention). I’m going to have to try these beauties, I’m sure I can do something for the 1 egg. Glad I could be of inspiration 🙂
he planets have aligned in a most delicious way!
I love almond croissants but a healthy version would be very much welcomed 🙂
Cookingly Yours says
croissants without butter? and not milk in cream filling? very interesting. wiht what can I substitute ‘rice syrup’? no idead what it is. thanks for the great recipe.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Hi JJ! I love this simple croissants using filo pastry! I’ve never made it before and am excited to give this a try. I like the sound of orange syrup and almond cream filling combination – fancy yet easy to make. Can’t wait to try!
Sara @bellyrumbles says
I love what you have done here, and I would happily devour a ton of them. They are healthy right? :p
But my inner Frenchie says… “don’t mess with zee almond croisssssant…“ :p