Cronuts popped up on twitter, and my instagram feed, and in the Guardian, and I've since learnt that the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York is at the heart of the hype. They've trademarked the name, got people waiting to buy them in queues an hour long, and even have a limit per customer of two of these suckers. Their slightly patronising Cronut 101 page tells people to eat them immediately, and if you must cut them, to please use a serrated knife.
Back here in New Zealand, it appears (just like consistently excellent coffee and an abundance of craft beer on tap) Wellington was first to embrace the sensation. Bordeaux bakery call theirs 'croinuts' and sell them at Moore Wilson's (aka heaven) for a pretty hefty $6. I'm yet to find a bakery in Auckland that sells them, although there are recipes a-plenty lurking around the internet. I've also heard rumours about a cronut vendor in Christchurch, but I don't have any hard evidence. Over dinner last night not one but three people whose food opinions I respect and value told me that cronuts were better than both croissants and doughnuts. This mythical baked good was allegedly both better than a croissant, and better than a doughnut. I called bullshit.
In the interests of very important research, my excellent Monday morning coffee at Customs Brew Bar on Ghuznee Street was swiftly followed by a visit to Moore Wilson's, where I purchased, and shortly thereafter consumed, my first cronut.
It was good. They're tall, and cinnamon-sugar covered, and certainly the first bite gave me doughnut flavours galore. These ones are filled with custard, which also throw doughnut-tones at me, but rather than being yeasty or doughy, you've got what is essentially deep fried flaky croissant pastry. So you get flakes, but a whole lot more chewy than a croissant. It wasn't amazing, but I did enjoy it, I mean, how wrong can you go when deep frying pastry and adding custard? I certainly would not queue up for an hour to purchase one, however. They do give some welcome texture (the crunchy end bits of croissants are definitely my favourite) but all in all they're a bit of a gag, and a bit over hyped in my humble opinion. Don't get me wrong: it was delicious, it just didn't knock my socks off, you know? I probably wouldn't buy one again, but I do think it would be worth getting in the kitchen and giving them a go. In the meantime, where the hell did I leave my running shoes?