Friday, July 12, 2013
Cronut craze: 3 local shops where you can find them
We're loosely defining "cronut," and three shops provide their own interpretations.
The most asked question in my inbox recently are about cronuts. Where can I get them? Who has the best? You get the idea. These croissant turned donuts are kind of a big deal right now. So, as to avoid a mob of angry readers, I am doing the Dallas cronut legwork for you. You’re welcome.
Essentially, when I first heard of cronuts, I immediately thought about Xuixo, which is a popular pastry in Spain. The pastry dough is stuffed with crèma catalana, fried, and covered in powdered sugar. The pastry dough itself is very similar to that of a croissant.
We love to eat in Dallas, and we love our pastry, so of course a handful of places are offering up their interpretation of this most sought-after treat. With good reason, they are delicious.
First up, we have Private Social. Chef Najat Kaanache has offered up her version of a Cronut since the kitchen changed hands earlier this year. I am not here to talk about the “Who did it first: Battle of the Cronuts” that are going on right now. (However, I will say that that as I mentioned earlier, the cronut is very similar to the Spanish pastry Xuixo, and chef Chef Najat Kaanache is from Spain. You draw your own conclusions).
With that said, the passion that this one woman has behind these simple, yet endlessly customizable treats are insane. I had the pleasure of spending some time with the fhef in her kitchen here recently. We discussed her thought process behind the pastry, the sweet and the savory options, and her overall excitement about them. Chef Kaanache offers a sweet cronut to end your meal or a savory cronut as an appetizer. Even though this research was about the sweet side of the cronuts, I had to partake in the crawfish appetizer cronut, which was everything a savory cronut should be. The cronuts at Private Social will change frequently with what is in season, and more importantly, what inspires the chef. On this particular day, our cronut contained several different layers of flavor that may not sound like they would pair very well on one pastry, but they worked beautifully. The cronuts included peanut butter, foie gras, pineapple, and cherry. Everything married remarkably well, to the point where I have craved this particular flavor combination at least once a day since I dined at Private Social.
Next up, we have The Hole Thing Donuts in Forney. They aren’t just doing one variety, they offer up several. On this particular day I was able to get my hands on an almond glazed, powdered lemon ginger, napoleon, and an orange chai. My favorite was the almond glazed. It had that flaky glazed outside of a traditional doughnut, then the flaky croissant layers and an airy interior. The powdered lemon ginger was an awesome take on the grocery store powdered donuts that I admittedly adore. The napoleon was filled with the most amazing pastry cream without being overly heavy like an éclair. The orange chai was essentially the cinnamon/sugar donuts we all love with a spicy citrus, and of course, flaky twist. I am a huge fan of how out of the box they went with the flavors, but then again, this is The Hole Thing we’re taking about. Hello, Crème Brulee donuts.
Last, but certainly not least is Swiss Pastry Shop in Fort Worth. They are offering up a Nutella stuffed “doissant.” These babies are baked, not fried. I know what you’re thinking, “If it is baked, isn’t it still just a croissant?” No way. I am not sure why filled croissants are not round to begin with. One of my favorite things is an almond croissant, and I hate that the first couple of bites are always void of almond paste. Making them round ensures a delicious bite of filling in every bite. Right now the doissant is made with a scratch-made chocolate almond filling, but they are working on perfecting their homemade Nutella. I am sure this will be worth the wait. No store-bought chocolate/hazelnut spread here.
What I adored most about my cronut research is how different, yet delicious all three locations were. The customizability of these treats go beyond the traditional. I would be very excited to see a few more bakeries in the area do their take on the sought-after treat. The cronuts have an amazing potential. Even if you’re one of the handful that are not excited about the cronut movement, I am pretty sure they are here to stay.
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