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All About Food: New treats something to Cro about

November 19, 2013|By Terry Markowitz
  • Dornuts, Pandor's version of Cronuts, are gaining popularity at bakery in Newport Beach. The three dornut flavors are vanilla custard, chocolate and cinnamon, shown above.
Dornuts, Pandor's version of Cronuts, are gaining… (Don Leach, HB Independent )

Gastronomically speaking, the current answer to the question "What will they think of next?" is Cronuts.

What are they, you wonder? Avian private parts?

No, they are the love child of croissants and donuts, brought into the world in New York City in May 2013 by chef Dominique Ansel and shown off in his bakery in SoHo. And they are rapidly becoming an international sensation.

You can find Cronuts in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Taiwan, the Netherlands, South Korea, London and Malaysia. Here is a short description: multilayered circles of puff pastry with a hole in the center that are deep-fried and then filled and glazed.

Lines start as early as 6 a.m. on the sidewalk outside Ansel's shop in New York. You may preorder Cronuts on Mondays, but there is a limit of six per person. Bigger orders must be placed one month in advance. They sell for $5 apiece.

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A man placed an ad on Craigslist that said he would trade his Cronut for sexual favors. At a charity auction in New York, a dozen freshly baked Cronuts went for $14,000! Scalpers are buying them and delivering them for as much as $100 each.

So what exactly are Cronuts? On the bakery's website, Dominique describes them as "made with laminated dough which has been likened to a croissant (but using a proprietary recipe), the Cronut is first proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut is flavored three ways: 1. Rolled in sugar; 2. Filled with cream; and 3. Topped with glaze. The entire process takes up to three days."

He only does one cream flavor a day, but they all sound wonderful: salted dulce de leche, fig mascarpone, lemon, maple and rose vanilla, to name a few.

Of course, anything this popular invites imitation, and variations are out there in droves. Since the name is trademarked, imitators go by dosants, doughsants, dornuts, kronutz and the prosaic "croissant donut." Whatever it's called, a Cronut by any other name tastes as sweet.

Orange County has at least 16 places where the treats are sold, and more are surely on the way. I felt that it was my duty to give some of them a try. It's a hard job, but someone must do it. I found that they do vary greatly in quality.

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