Give plain croissants an indulgent twist by reinventing them into fuss-free French almond croissants. Guaranteed to please all palates and preferences, these almond croissants are twice-baked until golden -- made moist with a sweet brandy syrup, generously filled with a rich frangipane cream, topped with slivered almonds and dusted in light shower of confectioner's sugar. By following these easy steps, you can create the classic French patisserie-style croissant aux amandes at home.
Ingredients: For the Croissants
- 1 batch master croissant dough (alternatively, you can use 6 store-bought plain croissants)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Confectioner's sugar, for final dusting
Ingredients: For the Frangipane Cream Filling
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
Ingredients: For the Brandy Syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons brandy
Step 1: Baking the Croissants
Bake the plain croissants as directed in the master recipe.
Step 2: Splitting the Croissants
When the croissants are cool, split each one in half.
Step 3: Preparing the Frangipane Cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with electric handheld beaters, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the almond meal and sugar, and mix to incorporate. Add the salt, almond essence, vanilla extract and eggs, and mix until incorporated. Finally, add in the milk, processing the mixture until light and fluffy. Set this aside, ready for assembly.
Step 4: Making the Brandy Syrup
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan set over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the brandy, and then remove the pan from the heat.
Step 5: Moistening the Croissants
Moisten both cut sides of the croissants with the brandy syrup.
Step 6: Spreading the Frangipane Cream
Generously spread the bottom half of each moistened croissant with three-quarters of the frangipane cream.
Step 7: Topping the Croissants
Replace the top halves of the croissants, and then spread the remaining quarter of frangipane cream on top.
Step 8: Adding Slivered Almonds
Sprinkle each croissant with slivered almonds, and then arrange them on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Step 9: Finishing the Croissants
Bake the croissants in a 350 F / 170 C preheated oven until crispy and hot throughout and the frangipane cream is beginning to turn golden -- roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 10: Serving the Croissants
Serve the almond croissants warm on the day they are made, lightly dusting them with confectioner's sugar.
Thalia Ho is the self-taught baker, law student and author behind French-inspired food blog, butter and brioche, which chronicles her culinary explorations, sweet adventures and travels.