When New York City chef Dominique Ansel invented the Cronut®, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, it transformed him into a pastry superstar overnight. In December 2013, TIME magazine named the Cronut® as one of the “25 Best Inventions” of 2013!
According to chef Dominique, the Cronut® must not to be mistaken as simply croissant dough that has been fried. It is made with a laminated dough which as similar to the dough used to make croissants, but uses a proprietary recipe. “Laminating” dough refers to the process of folding butter into dough multiple times to create very thin alternating layers of butter and dough. The gluten in the flour also gets developed during the folding and rolling process. This is unlike other baked goods where butter is creamed in with the sugar and flour, so the result when baked is a pastry with hundreds of flaky, airy layers. The Cronut® pastry is first proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It is then flavored in three ways: it is rolled in sugar, filled with cream and topped with glaze. The entire process takes up to 3 days. It is therefore understandable that each Cronut® pastry retails for $5.00 (pre-tax).
Chef Dominique’s first cookbook, “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes”, was released in October 2014.
If you would like to try your hand at making cronuts with a recipe that chef Dominique developed especially for home cooks, click here. Warning: it is not for the faint-hearted or the lazy, as it is extremely labour intensive! To get the tools you will need to make cronuts, see my post on Linda’s Bake & Pack, a quaint little shop in Melville, Johannesburg.
If you don’t have the time or the energy to make cronuts yourself, the good news is that you don’t need to go to New York to sample one of these sought-after confections. Local versions of cronuts are available throughout South Africa. See my post Review: XO Patisserie for details of this bakery in the trendy 27Boxes in Melville, Johannesburg.