Life's better with cake and a sprinkle of fairy dust
In my quest for the perfect cronut recipe, I came across a couple of Youtube videos in which someone tries to make a cronut at home using a shortcut – ready rolled puff pastry. Slapping multiple sheets of puff pastry together to cut out circles of dough and then deep-frying, in my opinion, does not a cronut make. Cronut, as the name suggests, is the marriage of croissant and doughnut. Croissant is an yeast-raised pastry. Yeast gives fermentation, and fermentation produces flavour that simply cannot be substituted, least of all, by store-bought puff pastry sheets. Sure, you get flaky layers, but that’s about it.
It’s the morning after I’ve made the cronut/ croissant dough. After 3 turns, the laminated dough rested in the fridge overnight. The yeast has had time to do its thing and develop good flavour. It’s all puffed up and glorious.
While I set my husband to rolling and cutting the dough, I prepared a bowl of cinnamon sugar to toss the freshly fried, piping hot cronuts in. 1/4 cup of fine sugar and as much/little ground cinnamon as you desire.
Roll out the dough to the thickness of a fluffy pancake, about 5mm, and stamp out your doughnut shapes. I had a doughnut cutter hidden somewhere in my drawers but it refused to show itself this morning so husband improvised with a large round cookie cutter and a little round cookie cutter.
Save those cronut holes! They make delightfully crunchy little morsels. Arrange the cronuts and holes on a tray lined with baking parchment and cover lightly with a tea towel in a warm place for their final rise, but not so warm that the butter in the cronuts starts to melt. 30-32 degrees Celcius is fine, so I left them on the kitchen counter to proof for about 30 minutes. This final proof may take longer if your dough was very cold coming out the fridge.
When these have doubled in size, heat up an inch of cooking oil in a saucepan to 160 degrees Celcius. Gently pick up the proofed cronuts and drop into the oil. 2-3 at a time was manageable for the size of my pot. Fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Drain on kitchen towels and toss in cinnamon sugar to coat.
Husband, the father-in-law and I dug right into the flaky, buttery, super crispy and HOT cronuts almost as soon as they were out of the pan. Beware, prepare the Burnol. These were HOT. But so yummy I was almost prepared to endure second-degree burns.
These are very very good at this stage, but stay tuned for the final chapter of my cronut quest. We’ve deep-fried layers of butter-rolled dough and rolled the whole thing in sugar; so what else can possibly stop us from filling these with luscious crème pâtissière and slathering on a sweet, sticky glaze?
More calories ensue.