Cronut Mania

 Monday, June 3, 2013

Anyone who follows the food scene in NYC knows that in the past couple weeks the city has been gripped by a fever for...cronuts. Wait, what? Cronuts? At first mention, this does not sound like an appetizing, delicate pastry...much less something for which I would wait in line at 8 am. Nothing to me is worth being up before 11 am. Very few things are worth being up before noon.

Basically, a cronut is croissant dough fried in the shape of a doughnut. While Dominique Ansel has put the "cronut" on the map and internationally trademarked it, I first came across the idea on Francisco Migoya's amazing pastry blog, The Quenelle. It had been on my "to-bake" list for a while, and then cronut mania pushed it to the top.

Because, like I said, I will not get up before 8 am for anything, it was easier for me to make these than to wait on line for them. Croissant dough is a yeast-risen laminated dough, and if you've never had a traditional fresh-baked croissant, you are missing out. These were a revelation to me during my time at The French Culinary Institute. Growing up, I was familiar with both American and traditional Italian-American baking, but the closest thing I had ever had to a real croissant was the Costco variety (sad, I know). I hadn't made croissant dough since I graduated from culinary school. They don't make frequent appearances on restaurant dessert menus, and the dough is rather tedious and time consuming to make. The skill proved to be like riding a bike though, and my croissant dough came out beautifully. When it was finished, I rolled it out and cut doughnut shapes.

First thing on Friday, I set about to fry the cronuts. My AM production cook had pulled them from the refrigerator when he got in, so they were proofed and ready to go. I was surprised at how quickly they fried, just a couple minutes. I glazed them with wild strawberry and passion fruit glazes and let them cool. Within an hour, all 30 "doughssants," as we were calling them (not looking for a trademark infringement lawsuit from Dominique Ansel!), were gone. My verdict? Definitely delicious, but probably not worth waiting in a 30 minute line to pay $5 each. I feel like my coworkers are going to be haunting me, however, to make doughssants for every family meal from now on. They might be more convincing though if they form a line, $5 in hand!


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