Coconut pandan twice baked

Before joining Kate Reid at Lune, Cam owned a bar in Sydney. When they started playing around with the idea of using different nut meals and flavours to create variations of the almond croissant, Cam reminisced about rich, buttery roti served with kaya, a spread made from pandan and coconut. Not dissimilar to the flavour profile of roti, Cam suggested that coconut and pandan would complement croissant pastry. And so, the Coconut Pandan Twice Baked was born!

Serves 6

WHAT YOU NEED

6 day-old croissants
flaked coconut, to garnish
icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting

For the pandan water
1 L water
50g pandan leaves*, cleaned and dried thoroughly

For the pandan ganache
100g fresh pandan leaves*, cleaned and dried thoroughly
330g coconut cream (preferably Kara)
375g white chocolate
55g cold butter, diced

For the coconut frangipane
200g butter, at room temperature
200g caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs
100g desiccated coconut
100g blanched almond meal
100g blanched pistachio meal
½ tsp rosewater

For the pandan sugar syrup
500g pandan water
220g caster (superfine) sugar

*Note: Pandan leaves can be found in most Asian grocery stores. One bunch will be sufficient for this recipe.

WHAT TO DO

To make the pandan water (prepare 1 day in advance)
Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan then add the pandan leaves. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and leave to infuse overnight. The next morning, wring out the pandan leaves well to extract all the flavour. Discard the pandan leaves.

To make the pandan ganache (prepare 1 day in advance)
Cut the pandan leaves into small pieces. Blend with the coconut cream until well combined and the mixture has turned green (but not brown!). Pour into a saucepan and heat until simmering. Take off the heat then cover with glad wrap and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, weigh out the white chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl.

Pass the pandan coconut cream through a sieve, reserving at least 260g of the cream. Transfer 260g of the heated coconut cream into a clean saucepan and once again bring to a simmer, then pour it over the white chocolate and butter, whisking to combine, ensuring that the chocolate and butter are fully melted and incorporated. The mixture should be completely smooth in texture with a light green colour. Once the ganache has cooled to room temperature, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to set overnight.

On the day you plan to make the coconut pandan twice bakeds, transfer the set ganache into a piping bag.

To make the coconut frangipane
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat and waiting until each one is incorporated fully before adding the next. Mix in the desiccated coconut and blanched almond meal. Transfer the frangipane into a piping bag fitted with a size 11 star nozzle.

To make the pandan sugar syrup
Place the pandan water and sugar in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved, then allow the syrup to come to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat.

Assembling and baking
Preheat your oven to 180°C fan-forced (350°F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Using a large serrated knife, cut the croissants in half.  Brush the cut sides of both halves of each croissant generously with the warm pandan sugar syrup. Pipe a healthy wiggle of coconut frangipane on the bottom half of each croissant.

Cut a small hole in the tip of the pandan ganache piping bag (3–4mm), then pipe a squiggle of ganache on top of the frangipane. Repeat for each of the six croissant bases.

Replace the top half of each croissant, cupping your hand and gently securing each top. Finish each croissant off by piping a seam of coconut frangipane across the top, then garnish with flaked coconut.

Place the prepared croissants on the lined baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the frangipane inside is set. Check this by carefully lifting the lid of one of the croissants with a fork and checking the doneness of the frangipane. If it still looks like cake batter, it is not yet ready. Bake for a few more minutes and check again. Make sure in the final few minutes you keep an eye on them as you don’t want the coconut flakes to burn!

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, dust with icing (powdered) sugar and serve.


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