By Nick Wuest,
ICC Pastry Arts student
(read more about Nick)
There’s no arguing that Dominique Ansel’s Cronut is a wonderful creation, but man do you need to work for it. Dominique’s At Home Cronut recipe in his debut cookbook takes three days to make and if you live in New York you need to line up down Spring St around or before 6:00 AM to get one. Personally I don’t have the time nor want to do that much to get my hands on one.
The name’s Wuest. I make cronuts for the American workingman, because that’s what I am, and that’s who I care about.
The past week we’ve been covering Viennoiserie and fermented dough in pastry class and originally I was planning to do a post on the three types of croissant pastries that will appear on my upcoming test. But five entries in now when have you ever seen me pick the easy route? Instead I decided to kill a few birds with one stone. I could get in some practice laminating dough, show up one of my heroes, and do it all start to finish in only a few hours.
This is again all possible through the use of baker’s math and what I’ve learned so far here in the Pastry Arts program. The At Home Cronut uses 2% yeast and multiple 2 hour plus fermentation periods along with 2 overnights in the refrigerator. The formula I used contains 5% yeast, one ~60 minute fermentation period, a ~60 minute final proof, and the addition of a small amount of acid to control the higher amount of yeast.
The end result is a super refreshing treat perfect for a summer day. The pastry is very light with subtle notes of orange. The jam is smooth, sweet, and tart. The Chantilly is good enough to risk attempting to subsist on forever.
- Stand mixer with paddle and hook attachments
- Cooling racks
- 3 ½” and 1” round cutters
- Ateco 803/804 star tip
- Ateco 802/803 plain tip
- Piping bags
ORANGE CRONUT (4x 3 1/2 “ cronuts)
When working with laminated dough there are a few terms to know:
Beurre pommade is butter that has been conditioned (worked) by hand until it is creamy, solid, cool, and not unlike Vaseline (or pomade).
The détrempe is the dough after it is mixed, the beurrage is the butter block, and the pâton is the sealed package of the beurrage and the détrempe.
The tourage the process of folding the dough to laminate layers.
- 260g bread flour (100%)
- 31g sugar (12%)
- 14g instant dry yeast (5%)
- 55g beurre pommade (21%)
- 10g orange zest (4%)
- 117g water (45%)
- 8g heavy cream (3%)
- 13g egg white (5%)
- 10g fresh orange juice (4%)
3g salt (1%)
125g butter, cold for beurrage (48%)
Paddle all DRY until sandy. Add all WET and mix to just form dough. Gather dough by hand leaving no dry mixture in the bottom of the bowl. Add the salt and knead with hook 3-5 min until smooth and sticky.
Shape into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, proof at 75-80 degrees about 90 min until doubled in size.
Flatten and roll the ball into an 8”x8” square. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes until firm but still tender enough to roll. During the last 5 minutes form the beurrage by hammering 125g butter between two sheets of parchment into a 7”x7” square. At this point the beurrage and the détrempe should have a similar texture. Roll the détrempe into a square large enough to fold over the beurrage (should be about 10” square). Enclose the beurrage in the détrempe to form the pâton.
Roll the pâton vertically into a long rectangle about 3/8” thick. Fold 1/3 down, the other 2/3 up to meet, then fold the whole pâton in half like a book.
*If the dough is still cooperative enough to roll (cool and malleable) then repeat the tourage – if it’s not ready then place it in the freezer for about 10 min before the second tourage. After the second turn roll the dough ½” thick and chill 20 min.
*If you’d like you can freeze the prepared pâton and defrost it when you’re ready to use. Otherwise chill it for 20 min while preparing the jam.
CHERRY JAM FILLING
- 300g cherry purée
- 76g sugar, divided 38g/38g
- 6g apple pectin powder
- 4g lemon juice
Mix 38g sugar with the pectin in a bowl. Bring the puree and 38g of sugar to a boil. Whisk some hot liquid into the pectin and sugar to dissolve. Return to the heat, add the lemon juice, and boil about 3 min, whisking constantly, until thickened. Pour into a plastic lined pan and cool.
COOK & ASSEMBLE
Vegetable oil for frying
Stabilized Bourbon Chantilly, find recipe below
4 whole cherries with stems, washed
Cut out four 3 ½” rounds from the dough with 1” holes, cut as many 1” holes from the remaining dough as you can, placing everything on a parchment lined pan. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick and gently lay it on top of the cut cronuts. Proof at 75-80 degrees for about 90 min or until tripled in size.
Heat about 2 ½ – 3” of oil to 350 degrees. Fry the cronuts for about 90 seconds per side until deep golden brown. Fry the holes for about 60 seconds, stirring them around to ensure mostly even browning. Drain cooked cronuts on paper towels then place on a rack and cool completely. You’ll know you’ve done a good job when the layers are so defined you can peel them one by one.
Once the cronuts are cooled use the star tip to drill 4 holes in the top. Fit a piping bag with the plain tip and fill it with the cooled jam. Fill each hole with jam gently so as not to break through any outer layer. Clean any jam that leaks back out the top.
STABILIZED BOURBON CHANTILLY
Place a bowl in the freezer early on so it’s ready for this final stage.
- 230g heavy cream, very cold
- 35g powdered sugar
- 13g bourbon
- 4g powdered gelatin – bloomed in 15g cold water
Microwave the bloomed gelatin for 10 seconds, set the liquid aside. Whisk the heavy cream, sugar, and bourbon to stiff peaks. Add the warm liquid gelatin and very quickly whisk to incorporate.
Fit a piping bag with the star tip and fill it with the Chantilly. Pipe a decorative design on top of each cronut, covering the filling holes. Top each completed cronut with a cherry.
The assembled cronuts can be covered or boxed and chilled until ready to serve. They are very refreshing if served cooled like that or you can bring them to room temperature.
Before you serve them I recommend using a serrated knife to carefully cut one in half. Laminated dough is equally as fun as it is terrifying because a cross section will immediately inform you of how well you did. For a first run of a new formula I am floored by the results here. With a little fine-tuning I expect to be able to count every single layer in no time.
I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I am with this project. I love everything about laminated dough. The importance of proper technique and attention to detail required always make it a fun a challenge and great practice.
I know I say it each week but I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did creating. It’s been an incredible experience to push myself creatively everyday both at school and at home. Each new thing I learn, big and small, is another thing I need to master and won’t be satisfied until I do. I tell you all to stay hungry at the end of every post. Well I’m starving. Starving for more ways to top myself each week. I have to admit, this one will be the toughest to beat yet.