Would you queue up from 6am to be first in line for a pastry? What if it was a cross between a doughnut and a croissant? What if it was made by one of the best bakers in New York? Sounding a bit more likely now? Well it is for me! Dominique Ansel launched the now eponymous Cronut at the start of May and ever since, there have been daily queues of people lined up outside the shop, trying to get hold of one of the 200 pastries made daily. Amazingly for a doughnut they havent just taken New York by storm, they have taken the internet by storm too. Since I wont be in New York any time soon I thought I would see if I could replicate them at home, and you know what? They are pretty damn good! Now the dough I’m using isnt a proper croissant dough, its my quick dough made with just 20 minutes active work which, compared to traditional croissant dough is a snap to make. Making these has actually just made me want to try the real thing more, if my simpler at home version is this good how good must the real thing be! Just need to get myself to New York I guess.
Lemon and Vanilla Fauxnuts
Double batch of 20 minute croissant dough
100g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
300ml whole milk
1 vanilla bean
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp plain flour
50g caster sugar
You need to start the recipe the day before you want to cook the fauxnuts as the dough needs resting time. The full dough recipe is here.
Before frying make the lemon sugar, filling and the glaze. For the sugar rub the zest, and the sugar together for a few minutes, cover and set aside. For the filling place the milk into a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using a sharp knife scrape out the vanilla beans from the pod and place into the pan with the pod itself. Add the egg yolks, flour and sugar into a bowl and whisk together until smooth. When the milk comes to the boil remove the vanilla pod and then pour the milk over the eggs, whisking to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook until thickened, whisking constantly. Pour the custard back into the bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until needed.
For the glaze, add enough icing sugar to the lemon juice until you have a thick pipeable mixture, you are looking for a thickness similar to toothpaste. Press clingfilm onto the surface of the glaze, to prevent it crusting over and set aside until needed.
Roll out the dough to about 1cm thick, much thicker than you would roll the dough if making a croissant. Using a 3 1/2-Inch cookie cutter, cut out 10 doughnuts and then using a 1-Inch cutter cut out the hole. Allow the doughnuts to proof at room temperature until the doughnuts have puffed up. When ready to fry fill a thick bottomed saucepan two thirds full with vegetable oil and place over medium heat and bring to 170C. When at temperature fry the doughnuts two at a time.
Fry the doughnuts for a couple minutes each side, or until deep golden brown. Using a metal slotted spoon remove from the pan and place onto a wire rack covered with kitchen paper. Once cooled enough to handle roll the outside of the doughnuts in the lemon sugar, set aside to cool completely.
Place the vanilla custard into a piping bag fitted with a bismarck tip. Press the tip into each quater of the fauxnuts and pipe in a small amount of the custard. For the decoration place the glaze into another piping bag and snip off the end, and pipe a ring around the top.
For me these were best as close to assembling as possible, whilst they are still crisp, although they were still delicious within a few hours if a little softer.
Here is a video on the original Cronut from Dominique Ansel