I’d never heard of a couronne before watching the Great British Bake Off. Regardless, it wasn’t my first encounter with yeasty layers of cake, wrapped around a sweet raisin and nut filling. See, growing up in Brooklyn, we simply called it a danish. A few people I know have also called it coffee cake—for me that’s something entirely different (see here, here, here, and here).
The moment Virginia saw this on an episode of GBBO, it’s all she could think about. She asked countless times if I would make it. Before setting out to make one, I found myself visiting a friend in Brooklyn, and bought a walnut & raisin danish ring at Caputo’s Bakery in Carroll Gardens. She was hooked from the first bite.
It is impossible to not fall in love with a couronne, danish, coffee cake (whatever) if you adore breakfast pastries. Admittedly, I’d much rather have it mid-morning, or mid-afternoon with a cup of tea, than for breakfast, but that’s a tiny detail in my book.
The original version from GBBO had apricots, walnuts, and I think a few other ingredients. I just remember I didn’t have them on hand (and my kids wouldn’t have liked them either). Another fun fact: I used my homemade raisins in the filling! Of course, store bought is fine, and you can even use currants, chopped dried cherries, blueberries, or leave them out all together—people have strong opinions about dried fruits!
On occasion, I swap out the pecans, and use walnuts, my favorite. The last time I made one, I gave a wedge to the school bus driver, a chunk to my neighbor, and sent the girls into school with a few pieces for the front office staff. My next hope is to make individual couronnes for a small batch recipe—thoughts about that? Any suggestions of other types of fillings you’d like to see in future danishes?
I should mention this is much easier to make than you might imagine. After all, it does look quite fancy. It’s really like a big cinnamon roll that you slice down the middle and twist—that’s it, so easy. While it might feel ambitious thinking about this on a random Wednesday, tuck it away for Friday evening. Make it before you go to bed, and you’ll wake up to a wonderfully delicious weekend on Saturday.
This recipe is now part of my new site, Simmering. It can be found here.