Cronuts are quite an ingenious creation; a brilliant hybrid between a flaky and buttery croissant and a good ol’ deep fried doughnut. They are the brainchild of pastry giant Dominique Ansel, who owns a high-end bakery in New York. His Cronuts became so astoundingly popular that he went so far as to put a trademark on the name, so that only he can use it. This pastry has people lining up for it as early as 5:30 am even on rainy days, and they often sell out before noon. You can read more about his invention and his bakery by visiting his website here.
Naturally I was intrigued. While Ansel’s signature dessert can only be obtained in New York, many Cronut copycats inevitably started to surface. Montreal’s La Cornetteria is a prime example, boasting their Cronut copycat “Cronetto”. Being a busy full-time student sometimes makes it difficult to go out when funds are tight and penny-pinching is in order. However, I knew I just had to try one of these beauties so I scoured the internet for tips, recipes and videos until I felt confident that I could replicate the Cronut by myself.
Oh. My. God. They were so good. To die for, even. I’m not sure if this is what Mr. Ansel’s delicious treats taste like but if they’re anything like this I can definitely see what all the fuss is about. Layers of buttery croissant-like dough, deep fried and then adorned with cinnamon sugar, vanilla pastry cream and finally topped with a simple icing glaze….. I think I died and went to heaven. This dessert is not for the health-conscious mind you. Sugar, sugar, fat, fat, grease, grease. But what a way to die… I think this is a very appropriate time to insert a #YOLO.
The detailed and step-by-step instructions that I followed on how to make this Conut can be found on the blog Broad Appetite. The hardest part about this recipe is the fragility of the puff pastry dough. It breaks easily upon rolling, causing butter leakage, and it becomes increasingly difficult to roll out into a large rectangle with increasing number of turns. However, if you’re careful to keep the dough cold and the work surface refrigerated, the results should turn out fine.
The recipe did indeed make 8 Cronuts and a LOT of yummy scrap pieces. After frying them, I rolled them in granulated sugar mixed with some cinnamon powder and filled them with a simple vanilla pastry cream with vanilla yogurt folded into it. I am really not a huge fan of pastry cream (curse my baking soul, I know). I don’t like the texture or the taste of pastry cream on its own but after folding in a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt and/or whipped cream I fall in love! Finally, I topped them off with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, lemon juice and food coloring.
As sinfully delicious as these Cronuts are, I don’t think I will make them often. The sheer amount of work and time that goes into making these is quite daunting. I definitely look forward to the day when I can try Ansel’s original Cronut, or even Montreal’s version, the Cronetto.