All right, world, get ready to say “Hot & Now” with us:
French: Chaud et Maintenant.
German: Heiß Und Jetzt (sort of pronounced “Heiss).
Italian: Caldo E Ora.
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Catalan Spanish: Calenti I Ara.
Danish: Varmt Og Nu.
The business world was on a sugar buzz this morning with the news that Winston-Salem’s Krispy Kreme Doughnuts has agreed to be sold to an Austrian family for $1.35 billion.
While the company says operations will remain in Winston-Salem, the sale by JAB is expected to bring wider distribution of KK’s coffee products and, of course, its doughnuts.
And that might be a problem. Remember when Krispy Kreme went national around 2000? Suddenly, the market was flooded with Krispy Kreme carts and stores, most of the doughnuts were being sold cold, and the sugar buzz around our beloved doughnuts deflated like a stale balloon.
What all that expansion didn’t take into account is the essential requirements for enjoying Krispy Kremes:
1. They must be hot. There’s a reason for the “Hot and Now” sign at stores. If they aren’t warm and freshly coated with sugar from under the sugar waterfall, they lose much of their appeal. In a pinch, you can rewarm them successfully with a 5-second trip to the microwave. But if the glaze is watery and sticky, you don’t have the perfection of a true Krispy Kreme.
2. You must be in the right frame of mind. A true, hot-glazed Krispy Kreme lasts only seconds on your tongue. You have to be in the right mood to be able to justify that kind of caloric indulgence. The best Krispy Kreme experience will always be picking up a dozen glazed on the way home from a late night out, to stave off hang-over effects the next morning.
3. You need a plan for using the rest of the box after you inhale the first three. That’s where the recipe for Krispy Kreme bread pudding comes in. Started in Charlotte at the restaurant Savannah Red, it’s the best way to use the rest of the box – or to hide the evidence.
Peach Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
From Jason Gray and Jean-Pierre Marechal at the old Savannah Red restaurant the Charlotte Marriott City Center.
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 ounces Southern Comfort
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 dozen original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons each ground cinnamon and ground allspice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, bring the peaches, brown sugar, Southern comfort, bourbon and vanilla to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer about 5 minutes, until the liquid forms a thick syrup.
Cut the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the cream and eggs and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the peaches, sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Using a spoon, break up the mixture so about half the doughnuts stay in chunks and the rest become part of the batter.
Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Fill with the doughnut mixture, pressing down to remove any air pockets. Cover with foil and place in a roasting pan. Add warm water to come about halfway up the baking pan. Bake for 50 minutes, until golden.
Yield: 12 servings.