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French Breakfast Gathering

Issue 02

This French breakfast shoot was inspired by a trip to Provence.  It is one thing to grab a croissant or pastry on the go when you are in a major metropolitan city such as Paris.  In the countryside, however the breakfast menu broadens to include thick, creamy pots of yogurt, spiced fruit preserves, hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit, cheeses, jams, warm crusty baguettes, buttery croissants and something with chocolate such as a mini cup of chocolate mousse, a slice of chocolate cake or a pain au chocolat.  While we were on location, every morning we would wake up looking forward to dining on fruit compote, finely diced fruit salad, fresh croissants and pain au chocolat with a side of little dishes of honey, butter and confiture (jam), eggs, cake and thick yogurt in little ceramic or glass jars.

THE BASICS:

-          Baguettes
-          Croissants (1-2 per person)
-          Yogurt in a jar (Regular yogurt will do if you cannot find thicker yogurt that comes in a glass or porcelain jar)
-          Fruit compote or roasted fruit (Use seasonal fruit to make your compote)
-          Jam (Homemade or store bought)
-          Fresh fruit (whole or cut up in mini cubes)
-          Hardboiled eggs
-          Coffee or tea served in a Cafetiere (French press)

THE EXTRAS:

-          A teacake (We tried Bi-Rite market’s recipe for a Nectarine Buttermilk Upside Down cake, but a lemon loaf, chocolate loaf, or banana bread will do)
-          Pain au chocolat
-          Pain au raisin
-          Chocolate mousse
-          Charcuterie
-          Freshly squeezed orange juice

WHY THIS WORKS:

This French breakfast gathering takes little time to prepare and is open to creative interpretation in the presentation.  If you don’t have or don’t want to go full on French country with your tableware, try mixing and matching contemporary and vintage pieces.  In our shoot, we used everything from an Alessi Girotondo orange serving tray and bamboo cups to hold the hardboiled eggs, to vintage white French porcelain dishes for the compote and modern espresso cups for coffee.  Have fun with your breakfast and learn to play, layer and experiment with your tableware.

NOTES ON A FRENCH BREAKFAST

French baguettes and pastries are at their best when they are served fresh from the bakery.  If you have a French patisserie nearby, make an early morning run to pick up the baguette, croissants, pain au chocolat and pain au raisin.  The compote, roasted fruits, fruit salad and teacake can all be made a day or two in advance.  The yogurt can also be purchased in advance.

In and around our trip through Provence and the Languedoc region, we noticed how breakfast was typically served picnic/family style where many of the breakfast items were placed in the middle of the table instead of serving guests individually. We embraced the idea of the communal spread and liked how this way, guests could take what they want in whatever order that pleased them.

Back to daily life, we dreamed of how we could replicate our French breakfast experience at our own tables and this is what we came up with: French breakfast meets eclectic modern.

The beauty of creating your own French breakfast is that the food is conducive to being served on a number of different platters, dishes, or baskets.  No need to be upset if your dishes are far from “French country.”  Be creative and use what you’ve got.  You’ll be surprised how it all comes together in the end.

The breakfast required one quick trip to our local French bakery to purchase baguette, croissants and pain au chocolat and we also picked up thick yogurt in jars.  The rest of the dishes, were made morning of.  Voila! French breakfast for four.

What can we say, French breakfast is our idea of breakfast heaven.

Recipes Used:

01 Nectarine Upside Down Cake as seen on the Food Librarian and originally from the Bi-Rite Market’s: Eat Good Food cookbook
02 Honey Roasted Plums (we omitted the thyme and creme fraiche)
03 Apple Compote

Have you ever hosted your own French breakfast themed meal at home?  We would love to hear what you used on your table, or what recipes you tried.

Other Recipes You Can Try For a French Breakfast Gathering

One Response to “French Breakfast Gathering”

  1. Thanks for including my recipe in your list! Got more French recipes coming up soon…

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