Ok, everyone relax. I think I have cracked it. A simple way to master the art and genius of Dominique Ansel in your very own home. Cronuts appeared on the culinary scene about a year ago or so and instantly became one of the first food combination crazes. Later instalments include, but are not limited to, Ramen Burger, Pizza Burger, Crookie and others.
For those who have never heard of them, Cronuts are a pastry that is a combination of croissant dough, deep fried like a donut. And before you say anything, they are as delicious as they sound.
Alas the cronut, being the first, is also one of the most intricate to execute in a basic kitchen. Croissants are made from an enriched yeast dough and they take time, they need to be looked after and kept warm and moved around a lot. Not unlike a toddler. And I am just not ready for that level of commitment, to either a minor or to baked goods. But I really want a cronut.
And it was one lazy Tuesday afternoon, careening through the dairy aisles of a local Tesco when I saw that Jus Rol, the company that do the pre-made pastry, have started doing croissant dough. Or maybe they have been doing it for years but I never noticed, anyway that was when began to think that maybe I could do this! Maybe I could make Cronuts and home and gorge myself into an early grave.
Sure what else would I do with a lazy Tuesday?
2 packs of Jus Rol Croissant Dough
1 lt Groundnut Oil
200g Dark Chocolate
4 Free Range Eggs
2 tbs Caster Sugar
2 tbs Flour
Zest of one Lemon
-You will also need circle cutters for the donuts. One large one and one small one. I used a large scone cutter and a bottle cap. Anything will do. And for the filling you will need a piping bag with a small nozzle.
-Ok so as simple as this version is it still requires a little prep. There are three components, the custard filling, the chocolate glaze and finally the donuts themselves.
-Lets get the glaze and filling done first.
-Put a large bowl over a pot with one inch of simmering water in the bottom. Into this bowl, break up the chocolate and cream. Melt them together and set aside.
-Now we are going to make some custard! This is a pretty cool skill to get to grips with and one you will most certainly return to when you get a little peckish.
-In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour.
-Gently heat the milk with the lemon zest. But don’t boil it.
-When the milk is warm, start to combine it very slowly with the egg mixture. You should start with only a few tablespoons at a time until the egg starts to heat.
-What you are doing is using the warm milk to cook the eggs which will firm up and create a smooth custard. The slower you add the milk and the more you beat the eggs, the smoother your custard will be.
-When all of the milk is combined add the mix back into the pan and place over a medium heat. Keep stirring the mix until it starts to thicken to sauce consistency. The test for this is if it can coat the back of a spoon without running off.
-When the custard has thickened, set it aside.
-In a large pot, heat up a few inches of the groundnut oil.
-Open the cans of the croissant dough and roll them out.
-Using your two circle cutters, cut out your donuts, you should be able to stretch the dough to about 8 donuts plus leftover bits, which are arguably the best part.
-Test the oil with one of the offcuts of dough, if it flouts and bubbles happily it’s perfect, if it starts to turn a dark brown very quickly then it is a little too hot. Turn it down and leave it to sit for a minute.
-Fry each donut for about two minutes on each side, or until golden and puffed up.
-Remove and place on a wire rack about some kitchen paper to collect excess fat.
-When all of the donuts and offcuts are fried turn off the heat on the oil and leave to cool. Please be careful as it will remain quite hot for good while.
-As the donuts cool, fill your piping bag with the custard. Taking one donut at a time, gently pipe a little of the custard all around the ring until you can feel that it’s full.
-When you have them all filled, lay them back on the wire rack.
-Using a spoon drizzle the chocolate glaze over the top of the cronuts.
-I also added a few chocolate sprinkles cos I’m ridiculous like that.
-Now you are ready to enjoy the heavenly delights that are cronuts. I love to eat one with another one on the side and then, like, four more as I cry myself to fat sleep. But that’s just me.