The Cronut Reaches Ottawa: Atelier Pastry Chef Tries His Hand at the Compound Confection

Never look a gift paper bag in the eye... Never look a gift paper bag in the eye...
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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.

So this is what the madness is about...

So this is what the madness is about…

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.

Cronut a la Pastry Overlord

Cronut a la Pastry Overlord

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!

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.