Krispy Kreme, move over. The latest rage in New York City isn’t a fashion statement, a new nightclub or a Broadway star – it’s a cronut, a tasty crossbreed between a croissant and a doughnut. Combining the flaky finesse of a buttery croissant with the deep-fried richness of a doughnut, this delicate new pastry is being heralded as the new cupcake.
Introduced to the city in May at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo, this tasty and indulgent treat sells out every single day. Each of Ansel’s cronuts takes three days to create, and is made with a special dough that is proofed, fried, rolled in sugar, filled with cream and topped with glaze. People line up around the block at 5AM by the bakery for their chance to chew on one of the 300 cronuts baked each day. A black market has sprung up around the coveted pastry, and sweets scalpers are now selling them for $100 each.
But you don’t have to wait in line for hours to try this delectable treat, and you certainly don’t have to spend $100 a pop for a mouthwatering dough concoction. You can make your own cronuts – organic at that – and impress all your friends, family and guests with this delicious dessert mongrel.
While cronuts are not a healthy food by any stretch of the imagination, sugary treats in moderation can be an important part of a balanced spiritual diet. Packed with gluten, fat, sugar, diary and refined white flour, the cronut is a dietician’s worst nightmare – and a child’s sweet dream.
Pastries take time to make, and you’ll need to start this recipe the day before you want to enjoy the cronuts. The dough needs time to rest – but the extended preparation will only increase the anticipation, making each bite taste that much better. Ansel’s bakery serves a different flavor of cronuts each month: rose-vanilla, lemon-maple or blackberry. This recipe features a lemon-maple glaze and rich cream filling. Enjoy!
Makes 10 cronuts
¼ cup water at room temperature
¼ cup whole milk at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and chopped into pea-size pieces
Canola oil for frying
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 egg yolks
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. First, make your dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the chilled butter, cutting it in with a pastry blender. Be careful not to over-blend; you want to see the little individual bits of butter. Slowly fold in your water and milk until everything is combined.
2. On a floured work surface, turn the dough out and knead it together into a ball. Put the ball back into your bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
3. Pull your dough out of the fridge and place back onto your floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a big rectangle, about 8” by 16”. Fold into thirds, fold into thirds again, and then fold into thirds one final time. Wrap your dough in plastic and refrigerate it overnight, at least 8 hours.
4. Next, make your glaze. Stir together the lemon juice, maple syrup and powdered sugar to make a thin syrup. Add more powdered sugar if it seems too watery.
5. Then, cook the pastry cream. First mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a separate saucepan, heat the half-and-half to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the half-and-half over the yolk mixture slowly, whisking the entire time. Then put it all back into your saucepan, adding the vanilla and cooking over medium heat until thick, like custard. Once done, transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and put it in the fridge to chill it down.
6. Now, you’re ready to fry your pastries. Working on a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough until it is 1/3” thick. Use a doughnut cutter or round glass to cut out 10 doughnuts, and use the scrap dough to make doughnut holes. Once cut, allow your dough to rest for 30 minutes.
7. Heat up your canola oil in a thick, heavy saucepan to 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Your pan should be 2/3 full of oil (you can also use a deep fryer for this step if you have one). Fry your doughnuts three or four at a time for about 2 minutes per side, or until they look golden brown. Watch them closely as they burn very easily. Remove the cronuts from the oil, and let them rest on a baking rack until cool.
8. Using a pastry bag or plastic baggie, pipe the creamy custard mix into each side of the cronut. Finally, drizzle each pastry with the lemon-maple glaze you made earlier.
5. Eat immediately. Cronuts get stale quickly, and become soggy in the refrigerator. Wash it down with a cool glass of milk, a hot cup of coffee or a glass of Champagne.