I'm not sure if you've come across all the hullabaloo about Cronuts; Dominique Ansel's Frankenpastry that has New York and the internet all a flutter, but apparently they're the next big thing in patisserie! Cupcakes eat your heart out!
Now Dominique Ansel has quite cleverly trademarked the name Cronut so these are officially NOT Cronuts but rather a shadow of an imitation... the Faux-nut, maybe?
I used a basic Danish pastry dough and cut out doughnut shapes and fried them till golden. I filled them with a vanilla bean creme patisserie before rolling them in vanilla sugar and topping with vanilla glaze. Behold, the Triple Vanilla Fauxnut!
Now unfortunately my cookie cutters weren't as sharp as they should have been and my laminated dough was tragically smooshed on the edges and as a result, my Faux-nuts are wearing regular doughnut disguises. Quelle horreur!
Not to toot my own horn, but taste wise, these are freaking delicious! The Danish pastry dough crisps up more than your average doughnut dough when fried and the crumb is just like that of a super fresh croissant. The scent of vanilla; from the creme patisserie, vanilla sugar and glaze, is strong enough to make grown men weep. True story.
Anyway. enough faffing about! Stay tuned after the jump for my recipe for Faux Cronuts!
Triple Vanilla Faux Cronuts
Makes 8 Faux-nuts depending on the size of your cookie cutter
This recipe for Danish pastry makes double what you'll need for the Faux-nuts. You can freeze the other half in a zip lock bag to use later.
500g strong bread flour
10g dried yeast
Plain flour for dusting
3 egg yolks
2 tsps vanilla sugar
1/2 vanilla bean pod
2 tsp cornflour
4 Tbsp caster sugar
1/2 vanilla bean pod
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
4 Tbsp milk
500 ml vegetable oil for frying
First things first; make the Danish dough. Mix together all the ingredients except the butter and knead until dough is springy and smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm spot for 2 hours or until doubled in size. In the mean time, dust your butter with 2 tbsp of flour and loosely wrap in cling film. Now for the fun part: take a rolling pin and take out all your frustrations on this innocent block of butter! It should be bashed into a rough square that's about 1cm thick and should feel a little like play dough. Put your butter square in the fridge till the dough has finished proving.
When ready, tip your dough out on to a floured surface and roll into a rough square about 1.5 times the size of your butter square. With your dough square facing you, place your butter in the centre at a 90 degree angle and fold over the dough, enclosing it like an envelope. Pinch the edges together to make sure your butter is secure. Take your rolling pin and roll out the dough parcel into a rectangle twice as wide as it is long. Fold the short edges of the rectangle into the centre then fold in half. This is called a book fold. Roll out the rectangle to the same size it was before and do another book fold. Repeat twice more. Your may need to return the dough to the fridge if the butter gets too soft. Once finished halve the dough and place one half in a zip lock bag and freeze. Roll out the other half to about an 2 cm thick. Cut out doughnut shapes using a large and small circle cookie cutters. Place on a baking paper lined cookie sheet and prove for 1 hour.
While dough is proving, make the creme patisserie. Place the milk and cream in a pan on medium heat with the split and scraped vanilla bean seeds, pod and all. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thickened slightly. When the cream mixture is just below boiling, pour a small amount into the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the while. Incorporate the rest of the cream mix and whisk. Return mix to the pan and place on low heat, continually stirring. Congratulations! This is custard. We still have more to go though! Take 2 tbsp of the mixture and incorporate the cornflour. Make sure there are no lumps then add to the rest of the custard. Cook for another 5 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
For the Vanilla Sugar, simply scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the sugar and rub together until the seeds are evenly distributed.
For the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients till smooth.
Heat oil to 160 degrees Celsius. One by one, fry the doughnuts for 2-3 minutes per side. Try using chopsticks to flip them; its much easier! Drain on paper towel then roll the edges in the vanilla sugar. When cool enough to handle, poke 4 small holes in the top of the doughnut and inject the creme patisserie in between the layers. Drizzle with the vanilla glaze and top with decorations of your choice!
These are best eaten on the day they're made! Enjoy!
Over and out!