Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gone Gaga over Cronuts, Kronuts or Croghnuts, Etc.

   Was it really worth lining up for, or it's just about the fad that simultaneously rocked Manhattan and other parts of the world, including  our humble abode- Manila.

   It has been what, three months (? ), since it was launched by Chef Dominique Ansel at his New York bakery.  According to their website they first set the fire for a new pastry creation, (now turning the foodie nation into a domination) last May 10, 2013, giving it a proper trademark, and thus the craze over Cronut™.

   Wildflour Cafe + Bakery, was the first one to introduce it to our food market, and was spread haywire by food bloggers and pastry enthusiast, like what they did with Speculoos cookie butter spread.  Well hey, I have definitely no angst about it.  Every foodie, like me of course, need to be adept to the  in and outs of the food market, without being left behind,  if that even matters.

   I have seen it in FB, read about it, quite  frankly my interest was piqued by it.  So I didn't mind going to great lengths to procure some sample.  Knowing that getting some at Wildflour is like shooting the moon, I tried to ask around where else I could get my hands on it.  I once over-heared from other bloggers that they always run out of it, and sometimes, one needs to pre-order.

The list goes on...

   Now, bakeshop, even a tea shop seemed to follow suit.  There's Dolcelatte, Chef Buddy's Park Avenue Desserts, Chatime, Cioccolata The Bay Leaf Hotel, Le Couer de France.  Wait, the  craze went even bigger as more and more stores and hotels are trying to make their own version, with the likes of Krispy Kreme,  Cafe France, Raffles Makati.

   See below photos taken form their Facebook pages.
Wildflour's croissant-donut

From Dolcelatte
At Park Avenue Desserts

   You can actually be in complete abandon if you let your guards down and be lured by all of these.  Honestly, I was.   Though I have only tried a number, I didn't really fell in love with it, or maybe I haven't found the one  yet, so Wildflour is still on my bucket list.  Still, cupcakes and macaroon are on the top of sweet  surrender list.  And I'm pretty sure kids would vote for my choices also.
   So just to feed my curiosity, with the pun intended, we tried one, and another, and yet more on our list to try.  Let me also blame one of my readers who asked for a review on the craze. (With a smile and a smirk)
So when Cioccolata, The Bayleaf Hotel's cafe, announced that they will be serving their version, Bhogs and I sped off and had coffee, Crunchy  Cronuts and their much raved off Churros.
   Also, I found it funny that each have come up with their own branding (spelling) of it.  

Cioccolata's Crunchy Cronut

   For those who still doesn't know what a Cronut is, it's actually a product from proofed laminated dough, which resembles a croissant dough (other use phyllo or puff pastry).  From a chef's point of view it is a technique where you take a big chunk of butter, smash it into a square shape, wrap it in dough, and then just keep chilling, rolling and folding until you have the number of layers you'd like.  To proof a dough on one hand is to let the dough rise a certain height with yeast.  Done mostly in breads, including croissant.

   "Cro" from croissant and "nut" shortened from doughnut (or donut), thus cronut (DUHH!), a hybrid of both.   Once the dough is prepared, it is then shaped into donuts (using donut cutter) then fried to the proper temperature of olive oil, grapeseed oil or canola.  In a workshop I attended with Chef Buddy Trinidad at the recent WOFEX event, he said he uses Olive oil.  The flat dough will eventually puff up when cooked and turns light brown.  It is then put on a wire rack to let the oil drip and for it to cool down before it is rolled in sugar. Some are topped with sugar frosting like the one we had at Cioccolata.  Chef Buddy boasts of his as being bathe in cinnamon sugar.  Many unique and creative versions have been created.

   You can easily spot a fake cronut.  When cooked, there is actually a big difference.  It's like you are eating a croissant and donut at the same time.  On a cross-section, notice that there are layers of puff pasry.  But the trick to it is that there is a rendering of flaky, crunchy texture on the outside, but soft on the inside like a doughnut, oh and Chef Ansel's cronuts has velvety soft cream or custard subtly oozing out from the middle.
   Cioccolatta was able to have that, however, the one served to us was a bit over-fried, with the crust bit hard and toasted, I also don't like the idea with it coated absolutely with granulated sugar, gave  me jeeves for being too sweet.  I should have shook it off first to remove some.
   Must I also say, that their Churros were spectacular.
    It comes with two choices of dip, warm Belgian chocolate or caramel.  I opted to have the caramel.  Don't be fooled, the serving is huge, two can actually with it.
    Just to be on the safe side, I gulped a cup of warm "banaba" tea when we got home, just to compensate from the sweet afternoon treat we had.
  There are  lot more that offer cronuts, but this one I'm really waiting for and willing to line up even for hours - Doussant from Raffles Makati.

Have you tried one already?  Did you feel the fireworks when you tasted it?
Won't you  me know about it and maybe we could give it a try.

The above list of chosen shops serving cronuts have been linked already to their Facebook page, so just click on them to know more info on the place.

Feel free to suggest any places where to get cronuts so we can update the list.

Enjoy cronut, croughnut, kronutz, French doughnut, Doussant hunting!

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