Strawberry Cronut

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I’d make cronuts for a blog post. Jo and I always joke that I pride myself on keeping up to date on food trends, but this time I was a little bit behind. It's been years now since people started going crazy for the cronut and I only ate my first one a couple of months ago. Let's be honest - it was pretty delicious. When I went to research recipes however things started to get confusing. Turns out that there are hundreds of cronut recipes out there, but only one original recipe that is patented by the chef who invented them. Apparently they can’t actually be called a cronut unless they're made in his bakery, in the same way that sparkling wine can’t be called Champagne unless it actually comes from that wine region. 

On my search for a good recipe I stumbled across a lot of  ‘cheats recipes’ made from store bought puff pastry or by using a rough puff pastry instead of doing the two-three day process of making the croissant-like pastry of the cronut. To this I say - go ahead! If you find a recipe that works for you and saves you three days of your life from folding and rolling dough, please by all means make it. Being a bit of a purest however I didn’t take that path. Instead I waited till I had a couple of days off, camped out at home, and put a whole lot of love into rolling dough. 

When I had made my first ever batch of cronuts I was surprised (and quite sad) to realise that the quantity it produced was pretty small. I only got four cronuts after several days work. So I’ve upped the quantities for you so that you don’t encounter the same problem. Both Jo and my boyfriend were the happy recipients of these treats, but next time I’m hoping to make a few more to share the love. 

I hope you enjoy making them. Please don’t be too intimidated. They actually aren’t that hard, but mainly just time consuming. If you're not up for the challenge though, no one will judge you if you choose to pop down to your local patisserie to pay $4 for one instead.

Strawberry Cronut

 

Cronut

  • 2 ½ tsp of dry yeast
  • 90ml warm water
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 3 ½ cups of bread flour
  • 4tsp sugar
  • 3tsp salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 60ml of vegetable oil
  • 230g cold butter

Method:

  1. Mix together the yeast, water and first batch of sugar in a bowl and wait until you can see the mixture is bubbling. 
  2. Warm the milk so that it is tepid. Add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add the yeast mix, flour, and vegetable oil, mixing until a smooth ball forms. 
  4. Place in a bowl and leave in a warm place covered with cling wrap until tripled in size. 
  5. While the dough is rising take the butter and place it between two pieces of baking paper and flatten with a rolling pin. I usually just bash it a couple of times, and then reshape it when it feels pliable. The aim is to form a neat square about half an inch thick. If the butter gets too hot or starts to melt place it back in the fridge to chill. When making croissant dough you want both the butter and dough to be the same texture, so that when you roll them together the dough doesn’t break but forms even layers of butter. So if your dough feels quite soft make sure your butter isn’t too chilled, however if your dough is quite tough, make sure your butter is equally firm. It can be tricky to get the right balance, and takes a bit of practice.
  6. Once the dough has risen enough, place it on a bench that has been sprinkled with flour. Roll the dough out into a large square and place the butter in the middle. Pull the edges of the dough around the butter so the it is completely enclosed by the dough. 
  7. Using your rolling pin, start at the middle of the dough, and work your way out to the sides, roll the dough into a rectangle.
  8. Take one third of the dough, and fold it into the middle of the dough. Then take the other side, and fold it on top. This is called a pastry turn. Make sure you brush off any excess flour in between each layer when doing this so you don’t get lumps. Once your first turn is done, wrap the dough up in cling wrap and place it in the fridge to rest for half an hour.
  9. On the next pastry turn, rotate the dough so that you are rolling in the opposite direction and fold again in the same way. This will need to be done until six turns have been completed. Once the last turn has been done, place the dough in the fridge overnight to rest.
  10. The next day take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about ten minutes. 
  11. Roll the pastry out, and using two cutters (a large one for the doughnut and a small one for the doughnut hole) cut out your cronuts. 
  12. Using a little bit of water, stick two doughnuts on top of each other to make a double doughnut (this creates even more layers!)
  13. Leave to rise for at least two hours. 
  14. Heat either a deep fryer or a pot of oil (if so be super careful) to 170 degrees. 
  15. Cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. 
  16. Let drain on baking paper.
 
 

Cinnamon sugar

  • ½ cup of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Once the doughnuts are out of the fryer and drained, mix together sugar and cinnamon and coat the doughnuts. 
  2. Set aside to cool.
 
 

STRAWBERRY CUSTARD

  • 2 cups of cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup of caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1tsp of plain flour
  • 1tsp of corn flour
  • 8 Strawberries finely diced 

Method:

  1. Scrape the vanilla bean into the cream and add the pod. Bring to the boil.
  2. Remove the cream from the heat and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the yolks, sugar, and both flours.
  4. Slowly add the hot cream, a little at a time, whisking between additions.
  5. Strain and then pour the mix into a clean pot and return to medium heat.
  6. Cook while constantly stirring until the mix starts to bubble.
  7. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and cover with cling wrap.
  8. Chill the custard in the fridge until cold and set.
  9. Remove from the fridge and stir through the strawberries

Glaze and Garnish

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Red food colouring
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Strawberries to garnish

Method:

  1. Whisk together icing sugar, a few drops of red colouring, vanilla bean paste (and some warm water if still too thick) to form a thick paste.
  2. Pull the cronut in half, leaving a top section and a bottom. 
  3. Place the strawberry custard in a piping back and pipe a ring of custard on the bottom section of the cronut. Sandwich the top piece onto the custard. 
  4. Taking another piping bag, fill it with the icing sugar mix. Pipe a thin line around the top of the cronut and garnish with fresh strawberries.