Monday, May 5, 2014

Dominique Ansel: Cronut

Everyone has been talking about the Cronut. The demand, the limited supply. People line up for hours in the wee hours of the morning to get a taste of this doughnut-croissant hybrid. But you know, there's an easier way to get your hands on a Cronut. Order them online. Yup, and that's exactly what I did to get my hands on some Cronuts. It was fairly simple and I was successful twice out of the three times that I tried. Well, the first time, I didn't know I needed an active Paypal account so my Cronuts were released back to the masses to snag. I didn't make that same mistake the second time around.

So the first of the two flavors of Cronuts that I tried was peanut butter run caramel. I ordered this in January which was bitching cold. I still made the trek downtown with some friends to try these elusive treats. With my pre-order in hand, I skipped the line and received my precious pastries. We decided to eat them fresh so we sat in the garden room in the back. Luckily, they had it covered during the winter to keep the cold out.
We each devoured one Cronut. What what did we think? With its flaky buttery layers and peanut cream filling, it seemed to be so good on paper but fell flat in our mouths. Were we expecting too much? Did we fall for the hype as well? It just didn't satisfy the craving that it created. We all felt a bit disappointed but was happy to have had the chance to try it.
Most people stopped there. Well, I didn't. I was convinced that something was wrong with the batch we tried. It could have been the cooking, it could have been the cold, it could have been us. Something just didn't work that day. But I wasn't deterred. I really enjoy Dominique Ansel's other pastries very much. My previous experience with the Cronut had to be a fluke. So I went back online a few months later and reordered another batch. This time, the flavor was Passion Fruit Caramelia in April. With a warmer month, a fruit based flavor seemed to be the right way to go.
This time, the lucky recipients of the shared Cronuts were some coworkers. Some of them never even heard of the Cronut let along Dominque Ansel and his bakery. So I enlightened them with a special treat that day.
And what a special treat it was. This time, the Cronut was really good. Lightly, flaky layers that tasted buttery without being heavy. The flavor was what was most different for me. Intense passion fruit cream and icing on top. It really wowed me and left me wanting more. Everything this time just worked. I'm still not sure if it was the execution, the weather, or the audience that was the changing factor. But whatever it is, I'm a convinced customer. This is one good pastry.
I'm really glad I decided to go back and order a second set of Cronuts. I wouldn't have discovered their potential otherwise. So with that, I'm going to be checking back every so often to try his new flavors. But don't forget about his other pastry items as well. He does tarts, cakes, croissants, eclairs, madelines, etc. As far as inventive pastries go, he also has an ice cream smore, magic souffle, cookie shot, waffogato, and more! It's definitely worth trying.

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773
dominiqueansel.com

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