First came the trend of the pork belly, a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig…which essentially spells B A C O N! with a capital Y U M! Today, we have the Frankenstein version of a doughnut, merged into a form of a croissant, the cronuts. This trending, decadent croissant-doughnut fusion has a definitive height on the media sphere. I am seeing cronuts everywhere! And, because it’s Trendy-Food-Tuesday, I am so having a cronut moment…Let’s do this, shall we?
The mastermind behind the croissant-doughnut hybrid is pastry chef and owner of Manhattan’s Dominique Ansel Bakery, Dominique Ansel, who invented the circular treat to blend his French upbringing with an American classic, thus…sending the food world into frenzy.
Folks, if you can’t make it to New York City to snag one for yourself, here is my take on a homemade version of this wondrous hybrid.
Original recipe adapted from Food 52; Vanilla Cream filling adapted from The Daily Meal
Yields approximately one dozen, plus the holes, and scrap bits (Read my tip below on what to do with them!)
- 3/4 cups milk, warmed
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
Vanilla Cream Filling (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple Glaze–From the original recipe (optional)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 to 2 tablespoon milk, cream or water
Whisk together the icing sugar, maple syrup and enough milk, water or cream to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the ‘cronuts’ while they’re still warm.
Bourbon-Caramel Sauce–(My added take to the original recipe)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, or light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons bourbon, or Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Whisk in the sugar, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, whisking occasionally. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. (The added butter is great as it melts and emulsifies in the hot sauce.) Stir in the bourbon/or extract. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- 5 cups grapeseed oil
- Deep Fryer/ or Large, deep-frying pan or pot
- Cooling rack or similar
- Slotted spoon
- Paper towels (For glaze drippings under the cooling rack)
- Piping bag fitted with a long narrow tip (If you are doing the filling)
For the croissant-doughnut
- In a large bowl, stir together the milk and yeast. Stir in the sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add a cup of the flour and the salt, then gradually add another 2 1/4 cups of the flour, stirring and then kneading for a few (or several) minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic, and still a little tacky. Transfer to a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup flour with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth.
- When the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle that is about 13″x18″ and 1/4″ thick. Spread the butter evenly over the dough, then fold it as you would fold a letter, in thirds. (Unlike a letter, the dough ends should line up, so that it’s folded in three.) Cover the dough in plastic wrap and put it back into the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pull the dough out and put it back on the counter-top, with the open sides to the left and right. Roll it out into another 13″x18″ rectangle, 1/4″ thick. Fold the left third over the middle, then the right third over the middle. (This is referred to as “turns”. To keep track of each fold or turns press your finger into the dough at the edge to make two marks – you can do this each time you roll and fold so that you know how many times you’ve done it.) Chill the dough for another 30 minutes.
- Roll, fold and refrigerate the dough two more times, so that you’ve done it four times total. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
- You can fold a fifth time the next day like I did, then, cut them into rounds, or rings.
My tip for the scraps: Roll it flat to make a bit more/ or you can cut them into triangles to make mini croissants. They will not rise much, but they are still good for snacking!
- In a heavy pot (or deep-fryer) heat a couple of inches of oil to about 350F, or until it’s hot but not smoking, and a scrap of bread sizzles when you dip it in. Cook the doughnuts in batches, without crowding the pot (which can cool down the oil), flipping as necessary until deep golden. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel.
For the vanilla cream (This is optional, and a step that I skipped because I did not get around to it)
Heat the milk and 1/2 of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to burn the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, other 1/2 of the sugar, flour, and salt. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly whisk it into the egg-flour mixture. When all of the milk has been incorporated, add the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly and vigorously, until the mixture is boiling and thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the service of the cream so a skin does not form. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.