It had to be done. A few months ago when this phenomenon hit the big time, I made a deal with myself (the best kind of deal, it’s always win win) that if I was going to try one of these bad boys (if?!) then it had to be The Cronut. The original, real one.
Maybe it’s just me, but I always believed if you were going to get something like memorabilia, then shouldn’t it be from the actual place? I remember the fashion in England when I was about 17, everyone started to wear New York Yankees baseball caps, from Topshop. Errrrm, no. I waited and waited until I got to go to NY and bought mine from an official New York Yankees shop selling the real deal.
‘Oh but some people aren’t able to go and get it from the real place,’ people might say.
‘Then I’m afraid you can’t have it,’ is what I say. You can’t have everything, otherwise everything would be everywhere and nowhere would be new or different. Oh I’ll just buy my boomerang souvenir from Australia in pound land.
Don’t get me started on Victoria Secret opening up over here…
I digress. Back to The Cronut. An irresistible hybrid of a classic doughnut and a croissant. The creator of this wildly imaginative design is Dominique Ansel. He owns a bakery in Soho in Manhattan, The Dominique Ansel Bakery.
Many have copied this, the world over, calling it The Dosant. Try as they may to have their own success with the copycat creation, Dominique comes out on top. Every morning the bakery makes around 300 Cronuts at $5 a piece. Customers begin to line up at around 5am and wait until the bakery opens at 8am. Everyday. Once they’re gone, they’re gone and tomorrow is a new day.
Aky went to New York a couple of weeks ago and what did I ask him to bring back for me? You guessed it. He got there early and queued for a notable period of time (don’t feel bad, he got one for himself too) and made it in when they were still in stock.
The flavour changes on a monthly basis, September was Fig Mascarpone, October is Apple Creme Fraiche. The Cronut has the outer crust of a freshly crisp, sugar covered doughnut, the layers and layers of pastry inside are like a croissant and reaching beyond what I had imagined, it was injected with jam and cream, sweet fig jam and mascarpone. It also has a hole in the middle and was topped with a sugar glaze and a slice of caramelised fig. The cream was so light, just enough to douse the pastry.
‘Taking 2 months and more than 10 recipes, Chef Dominique Ansel’s creation is not to be mistaken as simply croissant dough that has been fried. Made with a laminated dough which has been likened to a croissant (but uses a proprietary recipe), the Cronut™ is first proofed and then fried in grape seed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut™ is flavored in three ways: 1. rolled in sugar; 2. filled with cream; and 3. topped with glaze. Cronuts™ are made fresh daily, and completely done in-house. The entire process takes up to 3 days.’
The moment Aky had dropped his bags at home he popped into see me at work and in all its glory, there it was. A Dominique Ansel Bakery Box with a lone Cronut inside.
As I took the first bite, I realised it was new tastes entering my sphere, I love it when this happens. It made me wish I had been there the first time they made one of these, what the look on their faces said when they took their first bite. Perhaps a good old Del Boy line, ‘We’re going to be millionaires.’
It was absolutely heavenly. An incredibly delicious treat that encompasses all the great traits of already mind-blowing sweet creations. It’s soft and buttery, the thin layer of sugar it’s wrapped in will lightly dust your mouth, but you won’t care because you’ll need to make sure no jam is lost to your jeans.
I don’t mind so much about trying the replicas now I’ve tasted the original. I now know what it should taste like and can compare it to the real deal. I’m incredibly lucky to have tried one.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring Street (between Sullivan and Thompson) New York, NY 10012