Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Parfait Breakfast/Brunch: Layered Maple Cinnamon Granola, Yogurt & Blackberries

Figuring out what to do with our potager's largesse of plump, juicy, and zingy blackberries had me momentarily stumped. I first chose a colour scheme based on what is available and what would go together taste/texture-wise: a delectable brown=cocoa yogurt, a scrumptious gold=maple cinnamon oat granola, a passionate purple=blackberry coulis, a dramatic black=blackberries, and an alluring pink=yogurt mixed with a few drops of coulis. Then I mused about what kind of container? A fancy, tall dessert dish, replete with pedestal or a sturdy, hard-working canning jar which could easily keep its lid on if needed? The latter won, spoons down!

Our hibiscus bushes are in full bloom!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/177 degrees C. For one large serving -- I used a 200 ml jar -- mix several large handfuls of oat flakes with about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Add about 90 ml/3 fluid ounces of maple syrup. Adjust to taste -- aim for moderate sweetness, a definite tang of spice, and an uniform light moisture.

Spread mixture on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake about fifteen minutes or until nicely toasted, stirring with a large wooden spoon or with a spatula every five minutes. Let cool and pour into a storage jar.

Wash several handfuls of blackberries. Reserve one third for the parfait, saving the best one for a garnish, and the remaining two-thirds for the coulis.

To make the coulis, roughly puree the reserved amount either in a blender/processor or with a hand-held mixer. Work the puree in a fine-meshed sieve placed over a bowl until the berries are more dry than wet. Discard the sieved material and reserve the coulis. Sweeten to taste with confectioner's/icing sugar.

If you just have regular yogurt, and not Greek-styled, then drain about 250 ml in a fine-meshed sieve placed over a bowl, cover, keep in the fridge for least a few hours and if possible overnight for the best results.

Divide it in two equal portions. Flavour one with unsweetened cocoa powder. Though it could be sweetened with confectioners sugar, be careful not to go overboard as the coulis and granola are already fairly sweet additions.

This tasted like pudding!

Tint the other with a bit of the coulis until pink and sweeten with icing sugar if so desired.

Assemble together all ingredients and jar(s).

When layering, make sure it touches well the inside of the jar without any air pockets so it can be seen from the outside. Start with the cocoa yogurt (keep aside a heaping tsp for garnishing).

Then comes a sprinkling of granola, berries which are pressed against the sides of the jar so as to be visible from the outside, and another scattering of granola. Drench it all with a good deal of coulis. If a more creamy texture is preferred, then use less granola.

Next comes the pink yogurt.

Repeat with the cereal, berries, and coulis. Top with a dollop of the cocoa yogurt and a nice fat berry on its side.

The parfait's pleasing combo of tastes is accompanied with a nice contrast in texture.

I ate just one vertical half, and the rest got lidded and put in the fridge. By next morning, the granola had softened and absorbed more of the flavouring. It was a delight!

À la prochaine!