What is a cronut?

What do you get when you mix a croissant with a donut? A cronut!

A friend of mine recently showed me a newspaper article about the cronut – a which a donut that has been made with laminated puffed pastry (a similar dough used to make croissants) and fried rather than baked (hence, the hybrid of the two pastries).

I actually thought the whole thing was quite unnecessary as I’m a bit of a croissant purist. I even have a handful of bakeries that I go to just for their croissants because I really appreciate a good croissant (and finding one in Toronto can be tricky). The cronut was invented by an American pastry chef called Dominique Ansel who has a bakery in Manhattan (no surprise – I can’t imaging the French ever messing with croissants).

What makes Chef Dominique Ansel’s cronuts unique (besides the fact that he’s trademarked the name) is that he uses a special mix of flour specifically designed for the cronuts so it’s not simple just taking croissant dough. This price tag for originality doesn’t come cheap though. The cronuts cost are sold for $5 a piece, that is a tall order for a breakfast bread and simple donut.

I’m not a donut fan so I don’t really see the appeal. I really appreciate the crisp, delicate, flakiness of a good croissant and can only imagine that frying it would make it overly greasy (as if croissants could get any more greasy) and complicated (especially if you got a cronut stuffed with pastry cream, or covered in icing).

However, if you do want to try it, there is a bakery in Toronto that has it – Le Dolci.  Or if you are planning a trip to New York City, the line up starts as early as 2 hours before opening in order to be sure you get a cronut. For more information about cronuts, visit the Dominique Ansel website.

Or, if you can spare yourself the trip and try making them yourself.