I’m not even sure where to start this post, other than, go to the grocery store, get these ingredients and make this pastry. For those of you that don’t know what a cronut is or who Dominique Ansel is, just type any of those words into Google and watch the thousands of results pop up. Dominique was classically trained in Paris, a leader of a three star Michelin pastry kitchen in New York, and now the owner of New York’s highest rated bakery. Pretty impressive resume if you ask me. Shoot, just after that bit of knowledge I want to pack my bags and head to New York to figure out how to work there!
I had heard of the cronut and the stories of hundreds of people waiting outside the bakery on a daily basis for this pastry. I have friends that have actually been to the bakery and every time they speak of that cronut, you can see their eyes glaze over and then extremely happy memories flood their minds, and they just can’t stop smiling when speaking about it. When people have a reaction like that to a pastry, there is no doubt you gotta want to try it. Which is exactly what I did….almost.
As appealing as flying to New York is just to pick up one of those cronuts, I went the practical route and bought his cookbook and figured I could whip up one at home. And boy I’m glad I did.
Now I don’t want to discourage anyone, but this recipe is a three day recipe. If you start it on Friday, you could be eating cronuts with your Sunday paper and coffee, if you plan it right. Now this recipe he gave in the book, isn’t the cronut that is in his shop. Do you blame him? I wouldn’t give that recipe up either. But he was nice enough to modify it for the home cook. So this recipe is his recipe for the Make at Home Cronut™.
There is nothing difficult about this recipe. But there are a few dos and don’ts about it. First, because the pastry is cream filled, it must be served at room temperature. Second, consume this pastry within 8 hours of frying. (Like that is really going to be a problem for anyone…We consumed 12 within about 2 hours, and remember, I had to photograph these, which took up some of those 2 hours) And third, you, and no one else, is in charge of your rolling pin. Rolling the dough in as perfect of a square as you can get, is important.
I hope you enjoy these cronuts as much as I did. I will definitely be making them again, and again. Give the recipe a try, we would love to hear how you do with it.
- At Home Cronut™ Pastry
- 525 grams Bread Flour
- 6 grams kosher salt
- 64 grams granulated sugar
- 11 grams instant yeast
- 250 grams water, cold
- 1 large egg white
- 112 grams unsalted butter
- 15 grams heavy cream
- 251 grams unsalted butter
- 26 grams water
- 102 grams champagne
- 9 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 115 grams heavy cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 38 grams granulated sugar
- 165 grams dark chocolate 66% cocoa
- 200 grams glazing fondant
- 50 grams champagne chocolate ganache
- 205 Grams granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- Two days before make ganache and refrigerate.
- Combine the water, 26 grams of champagne, and the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Mix to a smooth paste.
- Combine the cream and the remaining 76 grams champagne in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar together in a small bowl. Stream one- third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until fully blended, to temper them. Whisk the tempered yolks into the remaining hot cream. Return the pot to medium heat.
- Keep whisking! Continue to cook the custard over medium heat until it reaches 185°. The custard will turn pale yellow and thicken so that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder paste until fully incorporated.
- Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Strain the custard through a small sieve over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds.
- Whisk the chocolate and custard until smooth. When finished the ganache will have the consistency of yogurt. Reserve 50 grams for the glaze. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from foaming. Refrigerate.
- Combine the bread four, salt, sugar, yeast, water, egg whites, butter and cream in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until just combined, about 3 minutes. When finished the dough will be rough and have very little gluten development.
- Lightly grease a medium bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the dough to prevent a skin from forming. Proof the dough in a warm spot until doubled in size, 2-3 hours.
- Remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough by folding the edges into the center, releasing as much of the gas as possible. On a piece of parchment paper, shape into a 10 inch square. Transfer to a sheet pan, still on the parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
- Draw a 7 inch square on a piece of parchment paper with a pencil. Flip the parchment over so the butter doesn't come in contact with the pencil marks. Place the butter in the center of the square and spread it evenly with an offset spatula to fill the square. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the butter from the refrigerator.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough on a floured work surface. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 10 inch square about 1 inch thick. Arrange the butter block in the center of the dough so it looks like a diamond in the center of the square. Pull the corners of the dough up and over to the center of the butter block. Pinch the seams of dough together to seal the butter inside. You should have a square a little larger than the butter block.
- Very lightly dust the work surface with flour to ensure the dough doesn't stick. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough from the center. When finished, you should have a 20 inch square about 1/4 inch thick.
- Fold the dough in half horizontally, so you are left with a rectangle. Then fold the dough vertically. You should now have a 10 inch square of dough with 4 layers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
- Repeat the last steps of rolling out the dough to a 20 inch square about 1/4 inch thick, then fold dough in half horizontally, and vertically to get back to the 10 inch square. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 15 inch square about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a half sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour to relax dough.
- Using a 3 1/2 inch ring cutter, cut 12 rounds. Cut out the center of each round with a 1 inch ring cutter to create the donut shape.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Place the pastries on the pan, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and lay it on top of pastries. Proof in a warm spot until tripled in size, about 2 hours.
- Heat grapeseed oil in a large pot until it reaches 350°. Use a deep frying thermometer to verify that the oil is at the right temperature. Line a platter with several layers of paper towels for draining the pastries.
- Gently place 3 or 4 of them at a time into the hot oil. Fry for about 90 seconds on each side, flipping once, until golden brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels.
- Check to make sure oil is at right temperature, and continue frying.
- Warm the fondant in a small bowl in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring between intervals. When the fondant is slightly warm, about 20 seconds, add ganache and stir until fully blended.
- Combine the sugar and its flavoring into a small bowl.
- Transfer the ganache to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whip on high speed until the ganache is smooth.
- Cut the tip of a piping bag to snugly fit the Bismarck tip. Using a rubber spatula, place 2 large scoops of ganache in a piping bag so that it is one third full.
- Place each pastry so that the flatter side is facing up. Inject the ganache through the top of the pastry in four different spots, evenly spaced.
- Place the pastry on its side and roll in the sugar coating the outside edges.
- If the glaze has cooled, microwave it for a few seconds until warm. Cut the tip of a piping bag to snugly fit a #803 tip. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the glaze to the bag.
- Pipe a ring of glaze around the top of each pastry, making sure to cover all the holes created from the filling. Keep in mind the glaze will continue to spread slightly as it cools. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes before serving.