Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Cro-Nut

The Cro-Nut - from Paris Baguette, March 13, 2014
Have you heard of the cro-nut? It's a croissant and doughnut combined, hence the name. Legend or, er, wikipedia, has it that it was invented by chef Dominique Ansel in New York City. The croissant part comes from the fact that it's a laminated dough (butter folded into sheets of dough and folded over and over again) and the doughnut contributes not only the round shape but the sugar coating, the filling and the glaze on top. It's actually pretty genius when you think about it; this is the kind of food modification I can deal with.
I'm actually behind on the cronut craze because it was invented last year and I'm only trying it out just now. In my defense, I'm not crazy enough about either croissants or doughnuts to go out of my way for them, even when they're combined, so it would have to be literally in front of me in order for me to try it. And by lucky happenstance, it was exactly that, in front of me, when I was at Paris Baguette last week. I was actually at a food court next door getting takeout for my dinner and stopped off at Paris Baguette to see if there was anything I wanted for dessert. Lo and behold, there sat a tray of cronuts. So I bought one for $3.75. Not exactly cheap if you think of it as a doughnut (Stan's Donuts are 85 cents each) but in line with croissant prices.
Overall, I thought it was pretty good. When I took the first bite, I classified it mostly as a croissant because of the flaky texture. And I'll be honest. I didn't see what the fuss was about. Yeah, it was good but a "craze"? Hmm, that's pretty grandiose. I should also mention though that I'd had this after my takeout dinner so I was rather full and one bite was all I managed of the cronut that night. I returned to it the next day when I was more hungry and gained a greater appreciation for it. Once I wasn't stuffed full of orange chicken from the night before, I could appreciate the doughnut half of the cronut. The filling was a light citrus pastry cream/glaze, probably the exact same as the glaze on top. The sugared coating combined with the flakiness really did make it a perfect hybrid of a croissant and a doughnut. If you like either or both of those, the cronut is worth experiencing.

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