Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Say Hello to The Cronut!

  A new craze is sweeping the nation and it's called the Cronut. The Cronut was developed by Ansel Dominique Bakery in NYC and is a cross between a croissant and a donut. People line up hours before the bakery opens to get their hands on the $5 beauties, and they are selling for as much as $50 on the "Black Market".
  I decided after some prodding from friends that I would try to recreate them. I'm sorry I don't have photos of the entire process, I was really just taking a shot in the dark at making them. After being so successful and having requests from many friends wanting the recipe, I decided to post it here for anyone willing to attempt these very labor intensive treats.
  I came across a recipe for danish/croissant dough that you make in a food processor rather than laminating butter into the dough (a process I have failed at, at least a half dozen times). The recipe is phenomenal and I have sworn to make chocolate-filled croissants very soon. When making this dough recipe, I "bloom" the yeast in and refrigerate the rough dough two hours. Remove it from the fridge and immediately begin the rolling out and folding process (you want to make sure your dough stays very cold. DO NOT let it ever come to room temperature). Once you get through step 3, roll the dough out one more time then fold both ends to the middle and fold it in half like a book; this doubles the number of layers you have in your final pastry. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap very tightly, then place the whole thing in a gallon size ziploc, press out all the air in the bag, seal it and place it in the fridge over-night. The next day remove the dough from the fridge, roll it out on a floured surface to 1 1/2" thick, cut out doughnuts with a doughnut cutter (I used two proportionate, round cookie cutters). Re-roll scraps and cut out as well. Place doughnuts and holes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray; let rise 1 1/2 hours (when the doughnuts have 45 minutes of rise time left, preheat your oven to 400 degrees). Bake doughnuts 15 minutes; immediately transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  In a large pot, pour canola oil to a depth of 4 inches and heat to 350 degrees. Fry doughnuts for about 30 seconds per side, until slightly more golden than they were previously. Remove to a cooling rack to drain. Drizzle with glaze and top with toffee crunchies (you may buy toffee bits in the store and crush them a little with a rolling pin). If desired, fill with pastry cream by injecting cream into the doughnut using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Here's a fantastic pastry cream recipe.

  Doughnut Glaze:
3 Tbsp. softened butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbsp. milk

Place all ingredients in a bowl; whisk together until smooth. 

My Cronut
The original, created by Dominique Ansel Bakery

  Not too shabby eh? I decided I need to cut them thicker next time, thus my instructions call for rolling the doughnuts out to a thickness of 1 1/2", which is much thicker than I cut them when I made these. Also, I may do twice as many folds with the original dough (prior to refrigerating over-night) to try getting more height and add more layers.

  Best of luck trying your hand at these. After all is said and done, they are WELL worth the effort. I could have devoured half the batch myself!