Lafayette’s chocolate coconut banana croissants

Lafayette’s chocolate coconut banana croissants

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Makes
10
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

I didn’t think you could improve on the almond croissant. Then I met the ‘croissant du jour’ at Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery and wondered why someone hadn’t done a remake sooner. In place of almond meal was coconut frangipane. And instead of day-old croissants were pains au chocolat. The final touch: rounds of soft-baked banana and crisp coconut chips on top.

The French-American hybrid was so delectable that I asked patissier Jennifer Yee for the recipe – and she kindly obliged. Since then, I’ve been making these on repeat at my place. I just can’t say no when faced with a good almond croissant, and this version, incredibly, is even better.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10 pains au chocolat
3 bananas, cut into 5 mm thick rounds
100g unsweetened coconut chips
pure icing sugar, for dusting

Pastry cream

Quantity Ingredient
180ml milk
75g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornflour

Coconut frangipane

Quantity Ingredient
220g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
300g pure icing sugar, sifted
3 eggs
300g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons cornflour

Rum syrup

Quantity Ingredient
150g caster sugar
150ml water
250ml rum

Method

  1. To make the pastry cream, pour the milk into a saucepan and bring almost to the boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until well combined, then add the cornflour and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot milk mixture until combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, whisking, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. Bring to a simmer and whisk for a further 3 minutes or until thick and glossy. Transfer to a bowl, then cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  3. To make the frangipane, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar for 3 minutes until light and creamy. Add the pastry cream and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined after each addition. Combine the coconut and cornflour in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture, in three batches, beating until well combined. Set aside.
  4. To make the syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Keep the syrup warm.
  5. Cut the pains au chocolat in half horizontally almost to the edge, leaving a hinge to open and close. Open the pains au chocolat and place, cut side up, on the prepared trays and brush all over with the warm rum syrup. Spread ¼ cup frangipane on the bottom half of each pain au chocolat, then top with three or four banana rounds. Close the pain au chocolat and brush the top with the remaining warm syrup, then spread the remaining frangipane over the top. Top with more banana rounds and scatter generously with coconut chips.
  6. Bake, swapping the trays halfway through, for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly on the trays, then dust with icing sugar to serve.

Jennifers tip

  • Assemble the pastries the night before and refrigerate until needed – they’re great served for brunch. You’ll just need to bake them for a little longer because they’re going into the oven cold.
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