Who would have thought that a hybrid of a doughnut and a croissant could spark such displays of insanity? The latest trend to hit New York and depose the cupcake is the cronut – a doughnut-shaped, croissant-textured pastry with icing on top and a custardy filling. The coveted pastry comes courtesy of baker Dominique Ansel and his SoHo shop, Ansel’s Bakery. Ansel has been catapulted to world fame as his invention has rightly been proclaimed “the most viral dessert item to date.”
The cronut craze has been raging since its debut on May 11th. Since then queues of people have been forming as early as 5 in the morning to taste the circular shaped manna. The buzz around the pastry sparked a literal “cronut black market” with scalpers becoming a frequent problem, buying cronuts and then re-selling them at $30 or even $100 dollars a pop. And there’s a third-party delivery service, Premium Cronut Delivery, which charges an unbelievable $100 for delivering a single Cronut, $200 for two, or $3,000 for 10!
Sales of cronuts have since become carefully monitored and controlled by the bakery’s staff, which has itself been reduced in an effort to maintain the secrecy of the recipe. There is now a limit of 2 cronuts per person, and a pre-order limit of 6 cronuts per person two weeks in advance. In addition to this, the bakery only takes 5 deliveries a day for its daily output of 300 cronuts. Mr Ansel certainly seems to have a good grasp of the supply and demand ratio, making cronuts a super-exclusive pastry. There is no need for a Sex and the City-style product placement like the one that launched the Magnolia bakery cupcake epic. Ansel’s got it in the bag.
A cronut costs $ 5 and comes in a different flavor every month. This month’s flavor is Lemon Maple. In Ansel’s Cronut 101 (which you can find here) he recommends eating the cronut on the day of purchase, adding that “if you do cut, please use a serrated knife, so as not to crush the layers.” It’s officially a delicacy if we’re using knives!
And yes, the mania has landed on these shores. At the newly-launched Marker Hotel chef, Gareth Mullins, is in the process of perfecting his cronut which we will have the privilege to taste at the beginning of next week when we descend en masse for the IMAGE Networking Breakfast. Pastry lunatics watchthisspace