Cronuts

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’ve probably heard of the now famous cronuts. They’re the invention of Dominique Ansel of the namesake bakery in Soho and they are taking New York by storm. I’ve never had the actual cronut because they sell out in about 2 minutes every morning and as a result of my apathy for long lines I have absolutely zero reference point. If somebody wants to send me one I will love you forever.

Out of respect for Dominique Ansel I will not post a recipe but just document my experiment. I’m in no way pretending this is as good as his (probably not!) but for the “sport” of figuring things out I attempted to make them at home because, you know, chefs have funny hobbies. Also the cronut craze has generated a bunch of copycat versions in bakeries across the country which seems to annoy the Chef, and it is clearly not my intention to do so. I truly believe that imitation is the highest form of flattery and the attention that it’s getting should be taken as such. We all use techniques that have been invented by others. Once something has gathered so much attention it would be futile and nearly impossible to keep people from re-creating it. It’s true that we rarely thank the people who laid the foundations on which we build on, but how far back would we have to reach to acknowledge the people who invented the croissant and the doughnut? And who’s copying who? Let’s give proper credit and share the love, please.

So what exactly is a cronut? Easy. It’s a 1/2 croissant 1/2 donut. A Franco-American deep-fried “croissant” dough rolled in sugar, filled with cream, and glazed. I mean, really. How could you go wrong with that? It’s a bit more tricky than it sounds though because the butter layers of a regular croissant dough would melt and make a mess in hot oil so the folding technique is a little different.

I opted for a folding method that produces thinner, more stable layers but still gets a bounce from the yeast. After proofing and deep-frying, the layers puff up like donuts and expand like puff pastry. All at the same time.

It’s a success if you can pull whole layers (rings) of dough from top to bottom. It’s as clever as it is delicious.

After deep-frying them until golden brown they need to rest a little on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb all that excess fat. The sides are rolled in a plain or flavored sugar and the cronuts are left to cool before getting filled with the pastry cream of your choice or a lemon curd… A sugar glaze goes on top and you’re ready to make a lot of friends.

Actually you only have about 6 hours to make a lot of friends. That’s your window of optimal deliciousness. After that, you’re on your own.

This is the obligatory cross-section action shot. After they get filled with a pastry cream imagine it oozing out of there. Yes, I said oozing. Just like Nigella.

Did I say how good those things were? There, I said it.

Fill the cronuts with a bismark pastry tip, they are shaped like a standard piping tip but with a long tube attached at the end with a slightly pointy tip. They allow you to puncture the dough and get that pastry cream in the middle of the pastry.

Sorry for the teasing but maybe a recipe will be available soon (some already are) to the many home chefs out there. After everybody comes down a bit..

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring St New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773

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  • sygyzy

    Couldn’t it be argued that Migoya invented these (fried croissants). Ansel isn’t bothered by profiting off it. Why don’t you share the recipe chef? I assure you, I want to make them to eat at home. I don’t own a bakery.

  • Smecksie

    I agree — I would love the recipe for these. They look incredible!

  • zenchef

    Oh yes, I saw that Migoya posted about fried croissant last year. Very close! I just feel like it’s not for me to decide that’s why I will wait until everybody relax a bit to share. People get worked up about this. In the meantime you can email me and I’ll give you some pointers.

  • zenchef

    Thanks! I’m sure recipes will be everywhere in a matter of days. :) Maybe I will!

  • Viktor

    Great work, i wonder how long did it take after the first baker invented croissants the other figured out the recipe :)

  • zenchef

    Ha! Probably the person who helped out roll out the dough went on to open his own shop. :)

  • pthalocyanine

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/06/03/cronut-craze-creates-black-market-for-tasty-new-treat/

    Apparently a bakery in Montreal has been making them for over 20 yrs. I would love to see the recipe if and when you post it. Your pictures are gorgeous! :)

  • Just Prepare It Deliciously

    I haven’t heard about the craze…was away in Aruba for a week but dying to try them….maybe over the weekend….would love to try to make them too =)

  • kitchenriffs

    We all stand on the shoulders of those who go before us – just a fact of life. One should always give full and proper credit, of course, but also of course we’re going to imitate things that catch our interest – that’s how we learn and adapt. Anyway, terrific job with these! Thanks.

  • Julie Elefante

    I thought it was as easy as just punching and frying regular croissant dough, not that croissant dough itself is easy–or at least, it sure takes a long time to make the recipe I use. I never thought about the layers just melting away. I’ve heard a lot about these, and I’ve been wanting to try them, so I’m off to find a recipe! Thank you for your post–I enjoyed it!

  • molly yeh

    these photos are beautiful!! i just tweeted about needing to figure out a way to make these since i’m not in new york and my friend directed me here! i’m going to go check out your liege waffle recipe too since i just found that special sugar after years of looking for it!

  • Aulani

    Me want.

  • Dave @ Fit Chef Chicago

    Photos look amazing – a Chicagoan ready to make one of New York’s best treats thanks to your post!

  • Patrick Chang

    Youre such a sexy stud. i have a crush on you

  • zenchef

    lol… hahaha..
    Patrick, you’re freaking me out just a little..

  • Trevor Helman

    im going 2 make

  • Colloquial Cook

    OOzing comme Nigella hein? Coquin va :-)

  • http://www.tasteslikehome.org/ Cynthia

    I heard about it on the BBC a couple of mornings ago. Looking at your pics I can understand the craze.

  • Chris Chang

    Beautiful work Chef!

    I’m definitely inspired to try making these at home as well! I also want to try those liege waffles you posted a while back, they look absolutely amazing!

  • Tara

    Why do you tease us so? Yes, I am living in a cave, I mean, LA and now, licking my screen. Sharing is caring.

  • Francine Godoy

    Bravo ! looks awesome!

  • http://putputteats.wordpress.com/ Putputt

    Omgawd, this post is evil. I so need a cronut right now. Do they have them in London? LA or SF?? :-(

  • angela_may

    Love it! “Window of optimal deliciousness” – we totally speak the same language :-)

  • Katharina Wilson

    What is going on. i LOOVVEEE this blog. I have cooked from the recipes, I stare at the pictures when I feel blah at work, but these days…..there is NO POSTING….I come back, and always there is the same ol’ (eventhough delish looking) cronut.

  • Leon

    What a ridiculous problem that chef has.
    Look at Pierre Herme who has actually come up with some amazing things and published them.
    It’s not like Mister Invernter of the Cronut put a recipe out there and everyone is remaking them without giving credit.
    I don’t see the problem with people trying to remake it–
    You can’t really put a patent on something like that or on the combination of lychee and raspberry.
    Very childish.

  • Kathleen

    We miss you. I have prepared many of your dishes. Your recipes and presentations are fantastic. I hope you will continue to inspire us to become better cooks.

  • Jonny @ WANF

    are cronuts really all that? or are they a fad? or is it that deep frying anything makes it better?

  • SaucySnoop

    Hehe the clones seem to “annoy the chef”? When you come up with something that’s really not even all that original since it’s a crossing between two things that have existed for a long long time, you have to accept the fact that other people are going to do it. If you don’t want any clone, you have to come up with something that not only is somewhat original, but also relies on your talent for production.