When pastry chef Dominique Ansel introduced the "cronut" at his New York City bakery just a month ago, was he aware of the feeding frenzy he would create?
The love child of a doughnut and a croissant, the pastry became a viral hit, with daily demand far exceeding supply. The little bakery has posted instructions for snagging a cronut, which suggests waiting in line two hours before the bakery opens at 8 a.m. weekdays. (Though it does admit that if you get in line prior to 7:15 a.m., you have a good chance of scoring.) You can order up to a half-dozen two weeks in advance (though the list is currently full). You can also pay "cronut scalpers" who, for about $40, will get you one (delivery in Manhattan is thrown into the "deal").
Or you can drive to Red the Steakhouse and get a fresh batch made personally by executive chef Peter Vauthy.
Vauthy is launching his own version of this taste sensation, the "kronut kruller," tonight at both locations in Miami Beach and Boca Raton.
The kronut kruller begins with the same basic ingredients in a croissant: flour, milk, sugar, yeast, and butter. After the dough is formed, it has to rest several times to develop multiple layers. More butter is added (and some more). The process takes about three days. Once the desired number of layers is achieved, the dough is cut, formed into a doughnut, and fried. The remaining dough is made into doughnut holes.
Kronut krullers are served three ways at Red the Steakhouse: the classic, a powdered-sugar hole, and a dark-rum creme-filled with a brown-butter maple glaze. A serving, $10, is far cheaper than having some person of dubious intent FedEx you one from New York.
Short Order tried the kronut krullers last evening, and they are everything you imagined -- and more. They're buttery like a croissant and rich like a doughnut, though not as heavy or sweet. More sophisticated, lighter, nearly savory, the kronut is worth the hype.
Our favorite is the classic, and the rum creme glazed a close runner up for our heart (which, by the way, really appreciated the buttery jolt that was sent directly to its connecting arteries). Like anything, the kronut is meant to be enjoyed in moderation -- even though our little party didn't quite get that memo, because the two portions that arrived were gone in a flash -- all in the name of research.
Chef Vauthy said he loves to play with his food, which is why he was intrigued with making his own spin on the pastry. "I love to create meals with a twist, like preparing wet-and-dry-aged beef ribs as a play on a traditional barbecue, or making a Wellington with foie gras. The kronut sounded like a fun project."
Asked why he thought there was such a fuss over this mashup of treats, Vauthy replied, "Who doesn't like a doughnut?"
The real question is: "Who doesn't love a kronut?"