Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas and Cranberry Pistachio Couronne

I am not the biggest fan of competitive cooking shows - things like Masterchef leave me cold. But I do utterly adore the Great British Bake-off, where talented amateur bakers get put through some pretty intense challenges in intensely twee surroundings.

This year, one of the "Technical challenges" (the bakers are given the ingredients and a rudimentary recipe and have to fill in the gaps) was for an apricot couronne. I'd never even heard of a couronne, but it turned out to be an elaborate fruited yeast bread, shaped into a wreath with a very cunning little trick. Even after watching the contestants make them, I couldn't quite figure it out, so I was very pleased to see that this was one of the techniques they showed in the follow-up masterclass show (this is it on youtube - not sure how long it'll stay up though).

I was keen to give it a go, but decided to make a slightly Christmassier version. Basically I followed the recipe but substituted dried cranberries for the apricots and raisins, pistachios for the walnuts and almonds and cointreau for the orange juice. More cointreau went into the glace icing.
Impressive, no? I was worried that having so much fruit exposed like that would lead to bitter, burnt bits, but no, the filling is succulent, moist and very well-distributed. We're having a very low-key Christmas this year, centred around things that we can just nibble on as the mood takes us, and this couronne is proving very useful to have with our morning coffee. It's disappearing quite fast, so it's hard to know how well it will keep.
Merry Christmas!

11 comments:

Suelle said...

That looks very special. Enjoy your Christmas!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i just watched the video and now i am going to have to make some of these! thank you so much for a wonderful recipe! merry christmas!

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

This looks rather impressive, and I love your Christmas twist on it. Happy holidays!

tamarindandthyme said...

Beautiful! I've not heard of a couronne (I didn't watch GBBO) but I'm definitely off to learn that trick you mention!

wildtomato said...

It's beautiful!

Amy said...

This looks so pretty! I hope you had a great Christmas!

nuttycow said...

This looks awesome! Happy (belated) Christmas :)

Joanne said...

This couronne is absolutely gorgeous!!

Choclette said...

That looks spectacular - very well done you. I'd be feeling mighty proud if I ever pulled anything like that off. Filling ingredients sound good too, especially the cointreau.

Hope you enjoyed your low key Christmas and all good wishes for a Happy and Successful 2014.

grace said...

this is super festive, but it'd be magnificent with any number of fillings! nice treat!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I am not familiar with couronnes but this is spectacular-looking and so festive for the holidays. ;-)

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