Monday, August 5, 2013

WTF (what's the fuss) with Cronuts?

There seems to be a food trend born every minute (and food suckers along with it?)  
A couple of months ago, Chef Dominique Ansel in New York City had the bright idea to bake up a new type of pastry -- a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. 
Et voila!  The cronut was born.  
Just to show you how globalization has made the world a lot smaller, the cronut found its way to our shores just a few weeks after its inception.  There are a few local shops now offering cronuts, even Dunkin' Donuts has gotten into the act.

Wildflour Bakery in uber-trendy and buzzy Bonifacio Global City area has come up with its own version of the cronut.  Since it's so popular, they can hardly make enough to meet the demand.
You'll never see it being sold at the bakery and you have to call in advance to place an order.
I called on a Monday and was told my order would be ready by Thursday.
A three day wait for a pastry?!  This had better be good.

My cronuts were supposed to be ready for pick up by noon but I was told there that they were deluged with orders so mine would finally be ready by mid afternoon.
One cronut at Wildflour is P120, quite pricey for a pastry -- whether doughnut or croissant.
I ordered one of each of their flavours -- strawberry, vanilla, raspberry, plain glazed, and 2 kinds of chocolate.
Now for the taste test.  If I am to go by what a cronut really is, as its inventor Chef Ansel declares -- it's made with a proprietary, secret croissant-like dough that goes through a process of laminating, proofing and finally, frying.  Wait, is he talking about a poster or a pastry?

I bite into the chocolate cronut.  My mouth and my mind both have pre-conceived notions of what we should be experiencing -- light, flaky croissant with the creaminess of a doughnut filling.
On the contrary, the cronut is crisp and crumbles when you try to bite or tear into it.  I thought it a bit dry and the cream between the layers didn't help dispel the dry mouth feel.  I can imagine that eating the cronut without a plate and fork can be a messy affair as it tends to disintegrate and scatter crumbs with each bite.

Here is a close up of my cronut -- the raspberry flavoured version was just as underwhelming as the chocolate.
So what are all those lines around the block at Chef Ansel's bakery for?  Perhaps the original cronut from NYC must be really delicious and worth the wait.
But,  the 3-day wait for an order at Wildflour Bakery -- no, it wasn't worth it at all.
I'm predicting that the cronut is a food fad that will not be a classic any time soon.

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