Cronuts, fonuts, whatever you want to call them – the latest sweet baked confection to have a stranglehold on pastry cabinets the world over is the cronut – a doughnut meets croissant confection. How you can take the glutton’s epitome of chic – the croissant, and blend it with the street cart fried, glazed, filled, and sprinkled pouf of dough ala the doughnut has me perplexed. Ok concerned. And morbidly fascinated. I can’t keep up. Trend do as trend tells, put down the cupcakes, throw your macaroons to the wind and embrace the cronut. Exhausting non? All the while, what I really want is the cannele (my all time favourite pastry item) to take full flight. But I do love a croissant. And I certainly don’t say no to a doughnut. So while I wait patiently for the cannele trend (c’mon people) I’ll delve into the world of cronuts. And surprise surprise I like them. Perhaps a whole lot more than I should.
I’ve used a rough puff pastry here rather than the more complicated laminating process required for traditional croissant dough. If you have the time and patience, I think it would pay off in even more light and lovely layers. To make it a wee bit fa-ancy, I’ve used a Turkish delight cream with a rose glaze topped with some crushed pistachio. Why do when you can over do? If you can’t be bothered with these elements, they are just as good doused in a healthy coating of cinnamon and sugar.
You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.
60ml tepid milk
60ml tepid water
125g plain flour, sifted
125g bread flour, sifted
7g sachet, active yeast
45g brown sugar
Pinch of salt
150g butter, diced and cold
Vegetable oil for deep frying.
Pistachio nuts, crushed for topping
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
25g plain flour
60ml pouring cream (30)
4 pieces of Turkish delight, chopped
120g caster sugar
4 raspberries, crushed
225g icing sugar, sifted
3 tsp rosewater
Place the milk, water, sugar and yeast into a medium bowl and mix to combine, set aside. Place the flours, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is in small pieces. You only need to pulse for about three seconds – you want small chunks of butter to remain – don’t over process. Add to the milk mixture and bring the dough together. Lightly knead to form a ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 3 hours.
After the dough has rested, place it on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a roughly 20cm x 40cm rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter brushing off any excess flour, this is the first turn. Turn the dough 90° so that the folds are facing you. Repeat the rolling and folding process two more times, giving the dough a total of three turns. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate overnight before using.Use a cookie cutter to cut doughnut shapes from the dough and set aside for 30 minutes to rest. For the Turkish delight cream, whisk yolks and sugar until pale, add flour and whisk to combine. Bring milk, cream and Turkish delight pieces to the simmer in a saucepan over high heat, stirring until the Turkish delight pieces break down. Add to yolk mixture, whisk to combine, then return to pan and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until bubbling and thick (3-5 minutes). Cover closely with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 4mm nozzle.
For rosewater glaze, combine sugar and 50ml water in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, add raspberries, simmer until syrupy (2-3 minutes). Strain into a heatproof bowl, add icing sugar, whisk until smooth, then whisk in rosewater and set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 170C, then deep-fry cronuts in batches, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden (3-5 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, gently insert nozzle of piping bag into one side and fill with pastry cream. Dust with caster sugar, spoon over glaze and top with crushed pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature.