Pandan & coconut-stuffed croissants

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Preparation info

  • For

    4

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

As I’ve already written, I backpacked through South-East Asia and other regions back in the late ’80s for a year. In Thailand, I teamed up with an Australian, Stephen Smith, who remains a good friend to this day. While we were hitching along the Mekong River, on the Thai side but near the Laos capital of Vientiane, I came across the most delicious coconut-filled croissants. Now this may seem a somewhat odd thing to find on sale in Thailand, but bear in mind that the French had administered Laos for many years, and one of the many things they introduced to the country was baking and patisserie, even if only for the ex-pat community based there. What had obviously happened is that a baker from Laos had given the classic French breakfast snack a twist by introducing the locally abundant coconut as a stuffing. At some point that idea had crossed the Mekong into Thailand. Fusion cuisine at its simplest and most delicious. If you can’t find pandan extract don’t worry, just add a few drops of vanilla extract instead.

Ingredients

  • 4 croissants, 1-2 days old
  • 80 g butter, softened but not melted
  • 40 g white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 drops pandan extract (or tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons flour, sifted
  • 120 g desiccated coconut

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C. Lay the croissants on a board and, using a serrated knife, cut them from one side almost through to the other - make sure you keep both halves intact though. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and pandan extract and then stir in the flour and a pinch of salt, then the coconut. Open up the croissants and spread the mixture onto them as though you were buttering them. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 12-15 minutes, at which point the filling should just be beginning to colour. Lovely eaten straight from the oven, they’re also delicious eaten cold.