The cronut has taken the food world by storm. A creative hypbrid of “cro”-issant and do-“nut,” the dessert confection was created by noted pastry chef Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City (189 Spring Street). While deep fried golden, like a doughnut, the cronut sports the same light and buttery layers as a classic French croissant.
Hysteria over the cronut has manifested in lineups starting at 6 am, people buying cronuts en masse and “scalping” them for $40/piece (resulting in a 3 cronut/person limit), and Craigslists postings. Most recently, news agencies mused about an offer to trade cronuts for ummm…sex.
Myriad websites from blogs to mainstream news have reverse-engineered the cronut, offering recipes to make the new “it’ dessert at home.
Now, bakeries in North America are jumping on the compound confection bandwagon, either preparing their own takes on the cronut or mashing together other classic treats. Clafouti Patisserie et Cafe in Toronto (915 Queen Street W.) is gaining notoriety for its “crookie,” a fried combination of croissant and Oreo that is fast going viral. The Crookie has even earned Clafouti mention on Good Morning America.
Compound confections intrigued local pastry chef Michael Holland, recently returning to Ottawa after a stint with Chef Joe Mercuri in Montreal, that he decided to try his hand at cronuts in Atelier Restaurant’s kitchen (40 Rochester Street). His twist, he topped his with Fruit Loops.
Holland generously saved one for my wife and I to try, our bartering some recently cured and slow roasted bacon.
Our thoughts? These bloody things are very rich! Half a cronut sated each of us.
I feel the cronut is an evolutionary step that started with the buttery pastry crust. Refinements over time lead to puff pastry. Someone added yeast to the dough to create the croissant. Now, pastry chefs are shaping croissant dough. And, “filling” the resultant confection with fruit sauces or creams.
If you’ve ever attempted baking croissants at home, you will find nothing particularly “fusion” or gimmicky about the cronut. It is steeped in culinary tradition.
Holland’s stash of cronuts has largely run out.
A pastry savant, we await his next culinary conquest!