As evident from my instagram, I am majorly into breakfast foods. Give me a piece of sunflower seed toast, a selection of nut butters and some maple syrup, and I can whip up a multi-layered toast snack that will kill any craving, for real.
As I’m usually trying to cram food into my face as fast as possible in the mornings (firstly, I am hungrayyy, secondly I’ve only got about 10 minutes to make and eat my breakfast and coffee during the week), I go for yogurt and muesli (an addiction I’ve stuck to for pretty much 75% of my mornings for a year, so far). I make and eat my toast creations when I get home, as I have more time for ‘creativity’ a.k.a lets see how many layers we can get onto this piece of toast, and call it a meal.
So naturally, I’ve come to realise, I. LOVE. LAYERING. FOOD.
(Heck yes I painted my nails for that .gif – look how un-chipped they are compared to how they usually are! Yes it was mango scented nail varnish, and cost £1 more than the regular stuff. Also, yep, I did manage to knock the bottle over, getting nail varnish ALL OVER MY HANDS. Do you realise how impossible it is to get it off of your skin without nail varnish remover? No no, water doesn’t. work. and you just end up spreading it onto more of your hand if you try and wash it off. Oh man, that was a stressful 10 minutes of my life there).
It’s so much fun, there are so many combinations and variations; with just one swap of an ingredient, you have a whole new thing! aaand that usually leads to a mega-inspiration-thought-train of new flavour combos and ingredients to layer.
I also realised that I’m not one for sticking to meal criteria because I will eat breakfast at pretty much any time of day (and I usually enjoy eating it when it’s not morning…pancakes for dessert = correct life choices)
So with all the breakfast/dessert/layering/yogurt/museli thinking going on, it’s no wonder breakfast parfaits popped up. I think I’d heard of them before, and there’s something slightly parfait-like about those granola-yogurt-fruit compote cups they sell in M & S (although those really aren’t good). But where to begin with the flavours?
Well since a) it’s not really prime time for fruits at the mo, b) I’m British, and c) I still had my mind on breakfast/dessert type situations, I thought breakfast-ising (new word, yes?) banoffee pie would be an excellent place to start, cos it’s already a parfait wannabe. (just in case: Banoffee pie is a no-bake pie consisting of a crushed digestive biscuit and butter base, dulce de leche filling, sliced bananas and whipped cream top)
I didn’t think layering dulce de leche into this breakfast-dessert would be right, so I went with a quick, utterly addictive date caramel.
You will literally want to just sit around and eat it with a spoon. From the pan. Ending up burning your mouth, and then eating more because now you’ve burned your mouth, it doesn’t matter any more and you have no reason to not eat more hot caramel (I can neither confirm, nor deny, that this didn’t happen…)
The whipped cream layer was easy enough to sub for a more breakfasty counterpart; changing it for yogurt and stirring in half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, for flavour and those gorgeous speckles (a.k.a nature’s sprinkles).
The buttery biscuit base was also an easy swap (hah, I had to throw that link in there. Ahhh classic Masterchef): I just made a mega easy, stove top granola sweetened with honey, and I threw in chopped almonds too, for extra crunch!
I layered it all up in some jars, put the lid on and shoved them into the fridge. I ate the left over components for my dessert.
This, my fine, freckled friendlings (okay, you’re probably not freckled, but it sounds better; Let’s just accept the alliteration and move on), was ah hundrahd pah-sahnt (if you didn’t catch that, that’s how I like to say 100%) ridiculously delicious.
Off the charts, for something so simple. Decadent breakfast or lighter dessert? You decide!
(I hope you realise that this means, come late-spring/summer, you will most likely have to face me throwing more of these at you, but layered with treats such as loganberries, peaches, rhubarb, coconut and pistachios)
-don’t be intimidated by the fact you need to make caramel or granola for this recipe. It literally takes about 30 minutes from start to finish to make and assemble the entire recipe and, once finished, the parfaits can be refrigerated until you want them.
- this recipe really is decadent enough to be served for dessert too. Trust.
- if you’re serving this later, toss the banana coins in some lemon juice so they won’t discolour.
- for a variation, replace the banana coins with ~3/4 cup of homemade or store bought applesauce, mixed with a little cinnamon for caramel apple pie parfaits
- for the granola, you can use 3 tbsp of any kind of nuts you want, or shredded coconut
- for the date caramel, the dates were pitted and chopped, then measured. I used 6 deglet dates (the smaller ones)
- the granola will stay crisp once layered for about 1/2 a day/overnight, but if you want it crunchy, it’s best to layer the parfait and serve it within a few hours.
Slice the banana into 1/4" thick coins (see notes if serving later). In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and vanilla extract/paste.
In 3 small, clean glasses or jars, layer the ingredients like this: 2 tsp granola, a few banana coins, 1 tsp date caramel, 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt. Repeat. Do this for all the jars/glasses. To finish, top with any remaining granola, banana and caramel.
For the date caramel:
Put 1/3 cup of pitted, chopped dates (see notes), 1/3 cup of milk, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt into a blender, blend together until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat whilst stirring over a low flame for 5-10 minutes, until thickened and reduced down to ~1/3 of a cup in volume. Set aside to cool.
For the stove-top granola:
Chop 3 tbsp of almonds (see notes) into small, rough chunks. Place with 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats into a small frying pan, toast for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Then melt in 1 tsp of salted butter, and stir in 1 heaped tsp of honey just until evenly coated. Remove from the heat and set aside.