Kouign amann bread pudding

Kouign amann bread pudding

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Serves
8
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

Kouign amann, the classic pastry from Brittany and pronounced kween ahman, is relatively obscure even in France. But in recent years it has shot to fame, courtesy of a few dedicated pastry chefs who resolved to make the delicieux but notoriously challenging pastry commercially available.

Dominique Ansel, whose ‘DKA’ (Dominique’s Kouign Amann) was his best-selling item before the cronut, describes the calorific layers of caramelised sugar, salted butter and flaky pastry as a ‘caramelised croissant’, while others call it a ‘croissant on steroids’. Around ten New York bakeries, from Épicerie Boulud to Bouchon Bakery, now turn them out.

Interestingly, you can replicate its flavours (i.e. cheat) in a bread pudding by using day-old croissants and a healthy dose of melted butter and sugar, the pudding’s custard interior also mimicking a real kouign amann. This would be my number one choice of dessert to take to a dinner party in Manhattan. It’s sophisticated yet comforting, and always a hit with New Yorkers, who just love bread pudding and kouign amann.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g unsalted butter
185g caster sugar
500g croissants, about 6
250ml milk
250ml pouring cream
4 eggs
vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Melt 125 g of the butter, then brush generously over the base and sides of a 25 cm tart tin or pie dish. Reserve the remaining melted butter. Place 110 g of the sugar in a small bowl, then scatter one-third of it over the base and sides of the tin or dish to coat, tipping the excess back into the bowl.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the edges off the croissants in strips and use to line the base and sides of the tin or dish to form a pastry-like shell. Reserve the remaining edges and fluffy insides. Brush the croissant shell generously with some of the reserved melted butter, then scatter over another one-third of the sugar in the bowl.
  4. Place the milk, cream and the remaining 100 g of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes or until the butter is melted and the mixture is warmed through. Whisk the eggs and the remaining 75 g of sugar in a large bowl then, whisking constantly, gradually add the milk mixture and whisk until well combined.
  5. Tear the fluffy insides of the croissants into rough chunks, then add to the custard and set aside for 3 minutes or until well soaked. Using a large spoon, carefully transfer the soaked mixture to the croissant shell. Pour over any remaining custard.
  6. Top the pudding with the remaining croissant edges (it doesn’t need to be flat – I use all the end bits), then brush over the rest of the reserved melted butter and scatter over the remaining sugar in the bowl.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pudding is set and the sugar on top is crackly. Rest for 10 minutes, then serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Tags:
Desserts
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