Right now the "cronut"tm is the One Direction of the baking world. A creation of Dominque Ansel, this wonder is (as the name might suggest) a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. In New York people queue from early morning to get a cronut before they sell out. You can only buy two at a time and they will set you back $5 each.
Along with your double soya frappe, a cronut is the ultimate breakfast fashion accessory. Because just like the fashion world, foodies are suckers for a trend. From Primrose and Magnolia bakeries' cupcakes to dainty macarons, we are a pretty easily led bunch.
Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of an Ansel cronut, but this recipe combines the softness of a doughnut with the buttery, flakey deliciousness of a croissant and is surprisingly easy to make. If you have made puff pastry or croissant pastry before you might think there would be a lot of that "laminating" business, but happily this recipe isn't much different from making normal scones except for a little rolling technique required.
You can roll your cronuts in sugar, but if you want to go the whole hog, decorate with bright glacé icing by mixing icing sugar with a very small amount of water and a drop of food colouring.
125g plain flour
125g strong flour
65ml warm water
7g packet dried yeast
150g cold butter diced
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
250ml full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean split
2 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
1 1/2 tbsp custard powder
1. Put the water, milk and yeast in a jug and stir.
2. Mix the flours together in a bowl. Add the butter and mix in a food processor or with your fingers until very coarse breadcrumbs with plenty of lumps.
3. Add in the caster sugar and salt and mix well.
4. Add in the wet ingredients and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a big piece of clingfilm and bring together into a ball.
5. Place in the fridge for 2 hours.
6, Take out of the fridge and roll into a rectangle twice as long on one side as the other. Fold like an envelope- fold one third of the dough back over the dough and then fold the other third over.
7. Turn the dough 90oC and then use the same rolling and folding technique twice more. If the dough is getting sloppy and buttery place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
8. Leave in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight is best.
9. Take out of the fridge and roll to 1/2cm thick. Use a large round cutter to punch out 6-8 rounds. Poke a hole in the centre with your fingers or with a small cutter.
10. Leave to rest for another hour at room temperature covered with a clean tea towel.
11. Heat the oil to 170oC.
12 Cook a few at a time for 4-6 minutes each side until golden to dark brown.
13. When cool inject 5 or 6 with shop bought custard or make crème patisserie as below.
For the crème patisserie
1. Heat the milk and vanilla together until just at the boil.
2. Mix the egg yolk, sugar, cornflour and custard together in a bowl. Add half of the milk stirring constantly.
3. Pour the mixture into the rest of the milk, return to a medium heat and cook, whisking all the time for 5-6 minutes or until thick.
4. Pour into a bowl, cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and place in the fridge until needed.