August 8, 2013
It doesn’t get much more sinful than a croissant doughnut … Anyone watch Next Food Network Star? Russell would totally nail is POV with these!
Over the past few months, cronuts have taken the world by storm (seriously). Originally made famous by Dominique Ansel, they’re a croissant/doughnut hybrid, filled with some variety of delicious pastry cream. People are waiting outside the bakery for hours hoping to score just one, and a cronut black market has cropped up for those who will cough up some serious dough to get the cronut experience. Anything with this much hype is worth at least a shot or two at home!
And the proof is in the pudding – these are worth (at least some) of the hype (the last batch that I brought into the office were snapped up in a mere 15 minutes). The crunchy sweet, perfectly fried exterior gives way to a soft, flavorful interior, filled with delectable croissant layers and pastry cream (you know, for some extra decadence – go big or go home, right?). Definitely, absolutely takes croissants and doughnuts to a whole new level.
I call my variety the kronut, and the recipe below will yield 8 large kronuts, and about 8-10 krunchkins (“munchkins” of the kronut variety). I’m sharing a version filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with vanilla glaze, but feel free to mix up the flavors (I’ve also made lemon kronuts, filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon glaze, and cinnamon-sugar kronuts, some filled with vanilla pastry cream, some unfilled). They are also absolutely best when enjoyed immediately – the filling / humidity in the air / etc will cause them to lose their crispness – so recruit some friends to share. If you’re inclined to make croissants, I highly recommend giving these a go at least once.
Yield: 8 kronuts & 8 krunchkins
Start the croissant dough about 2 days before you want to fry your kronuts (the process that works well for me is about 36 hours; see sample timeline in croissant post). Yes, this may seem like a long time, but trust me, it’s worth it. The dough requires resting time in the refrigerator not only to strengthen, but also to gain enormous amounts of flavor.
- 1 recipe croissant dough
- Vanilla pastry cream (see recipe below)
- Vanilla glaze (see recipe below)
- Additional granulated sugar for rolling (approximately 1 cup)
- Decorative sprinkles of your choice
- Prepare croissant dough through Roll II.
Roll III & Shape
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
- Gently press the dough into an approximately 6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ rectangle (flatten the dough just enough to cut 8 large kronuts with a 3″ round cutter).
- Using a 3″ round cutter, cut out 8 large kronuts. Cut out the center of each kronut using a 1/2″ round cutter, and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Roughly cut up the remaining dough, and divide into 8-10 equal portions. Gently roll each portion into a ball (these are your krunchkins), and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Loosely cover each baking sheet with plastic wrap.
- Let kronuts and krunchkins proof at room temperature for 1 1/2-2 hours, until slightly poufy.
- Place baking sheets in refrigerator, and let sit overnight (approximately 8 hours).
- The next morning, remove baking sheets from refrigerator, and allow to sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes. Begin heating your oil about 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to fry.
- Line a cooling rack or baking tray with paper towels, and place close to stove top where you’ll be frying.
- Heat 3” of oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat to 350ºF.. Be sure to maintain the temperature while frying.
- Working in batches, carefully place the kronuts into the hot oil (do not crowd!). Fry on the first side for 2-3 minutes, until browned, and then gently flip. Fry for an additional 2-3 minutes, until both sides are evenly browned.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer each doughnut to the prepared tray, and allow to cool for a few minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
- Repeat with remaining kronuts and krunchkins.
Sugar Coat & Fill
- Place additional sugar in a small bowl.
- One at a time, toss the warm kronuts and krunchkins in the sugar to coat evenly, and return to the tray to cool completely (about 30-40 minutes). While doughnuts are cooling, prepare vanilla glaze.
- Fit a pastry bag with a small round tip (I use a round #6), and fill bag with pastry cream. Fit another pastry bag with a larger round tip (I use a round #10), and fill with vanilla glaze.
- Once kronuts are cool, poke 4 holes into the top of each kronut, and 1 hole in each krunchkin with a long skewer (take care not to poke all the way through).
- Squirt filling into each of the holes that you created, and wipe away any excess filling.
- Pipe a ring of glaze around the top of each kronut, and top with sprinkles of your choice (the glaze will set quickly, so sprinkle on those sprinkles immediately after piping).
- Enjoy immediately!
Vanilla Pastry Cream
Yield: approximately 3 cups
- 375 grams (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
- 4 large egg yolks
- 113 g (1/2 cup) superfine sugar
- 25 g (1/4 cup) cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, and keep a rubber spatula handy. Set aside.
- Scald milk, vanilla bean pod and seeds in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes to allow vanilla to infuse.
- Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until thick and pale.
- Add the flour and salt, and whisk until smooth.
- Remove vanilla bean pod from milk, and bring back to a simmer.
- Slowly add the milk mixture to the egg mixture, a small amount at a time, whisking constantly. Once all of the milk has been added, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and place over medium heat.
- Whisk constantly and vigorously for about 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Once mixture thickens, stop stirring every few seconds to see if it has come to a boil. If not, keep whisking. As soon as you see the mixture bubbling, continue whisking for 10 seconds, and remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the mixture through the sieve, and stir in vanilla extract (if using). Press plastic wrap directly into the surface of the pastry cream.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until cold, or up to 3 days.
Source: Slightly adapted from La Mia Vita Dolce
Yield: approximately 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine sugar, 2 teaspoons of milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
- Mix with a spoon until you have a thick paste. The glaze should be soft enough to pipe, but firm enough to hold its shape. If too stiff, add additional milk; if too runny, add additional sugar.
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