It wasn’t so long ago when cupcakes ruled the world, closely followed by macarons, cake pops and anything (literally) made from bacon. Food fads are so much fun to watch but I think I’ve just found my favorite…the cronut! If you’ve been living in one of those huts in Bora Bora – you know the kind that sits high up on sticks in the ocean – then you might have missed the cronut hoopla. So here goes.The cronut, a hybrid of a croissant and a donut, was invented by Dominique Ansel, a French baker and pastry chef, just this year. Dominique owns his own bakery in New York and wakes up each morning to his version of every business person’s dream – a line of customers stretching around the block, all wanting to trade cash for his cronuts. The cronut craze is indeed crazy, so crazy that he limits people to only two per purchase. You can buy six if you order them two weeks in advance. (Check out this really cool timeline of his week by Huffington Post.)
When I visited Hawaii earlier in the year, I made a point of visiting Leonard’s Bakery. Some say Leonard’s Portugese malasadas donuts are the best in the world and I had to stand in line for 30 minutes to try them, Ansel’s customers are waiting in line for 3 or more hours!What would you do for one of these yeasty nuggets? Well, you could make them at home like I did. Ever since I saw these flaky, puffy, gold-medal worthy examples of home made cronuts from Salt and Smoke, I knew I had to try them. The dough is the texture of croissant dough, packed with butter and folded over and over again to produce those flaky layers. If you’ve ever made croissants, you know how much labor goes into this. But it’s like a science experiment – if it goes right, then it’s soooo worth it. Of course, if it goes belly-up like mine did the first time, then it’s a kitchen full of flying flour and cuss words. I would have loved to achieved the layers from the Salt and Smoke offering, but I know why that didn’t happen and I’ll adjust for it the next time I make these. Umm, yeah I’ll be making them again because it was like stuffing a raised donut into my mouth while also relishing crispy layers of butter and pumpkin spice sugar. And as if that wasn’t enough sweet goodness, I dipped them all in caramel sauce. Let’s not forget the middle of the cronut. Those little puffy balls rolled in the sugar were more addicting than I imagine crack to be.