Sitting in a cozy corner of my room on wintry Delhi night, I can order doughnuts at the touch of a finger and devour them all night long. That’s the ease with which all kinds of foods are available to us in the comfort of our homes without having to move an inch from that quilt. Not just one, but you’ll find a plethora of options when it comes to flavours and fillings of doughnuts. They could be simply filled with sugar and glazed or have a chocolaty or fruity flavour to them. I’ve always liked a mildly hot doughnut that gives the outer layer a soft texture. Just like doughnuts are a delectable dessert from the American continent, we’ve got another one from the land of desserts, France. 

It is none other than the croissants but the good part is that they can be both sweet and savoury. I remember having chocolate croissants at a high tea back in Singapore during Christmas time. It was absolutely delicious. The year before last, I planned a holiday spread since everyone was locked up at home with no place to go. It consisted of waffles, a variety of cheese, square salami sandwiches, muffins, nuts and berries with a huge plum cake in the centre. However, the best part of the entire meal was the butter croissants. I micro waved them for a few seconds and then cut them open to devour the unseen butteriness of the delightful treat. It was so basic yet so delicious that I couldn’t stop at one. 

Recently, with the festive season coming to an end and the New Year, New Me spirits kicking in, I came across something new myself, the cronut. Have you heard of it before? Let’s dive into it a little then. 

Crowing The History Of The Cronut 

By now, you would have figured that the cronut is an interesting marriage between a doughnut and a croissant. The question that lingers is who came up with the idea to put together the cronut. The birth of this hybrid dessert took place in 2013 at a French patisserie when Dominique Ansel, a pastry chef by profession thought of combining his love for the French flaky pastry with the world-famous crispy bites. He brought together North America and France on one baking tray and gave us the cronut we know today. 

However, reaching the present-day recipe was no cronut (cake) walk. Ansel worked tediously, day in and day out for over three months to make a cronut. After a series of trials and errors spread across ten recipes, he finally perfected the art of making this hybrid version of doughnut and croissant. Deep-fried in grape seed oil, the cronut acquired the texture of a doughnut and the layers that formed when cut open, reflected the essence of the croissant. 

Something that might amaze you is the fact that this tiny cronut takes about three days of preparation before it is finally sold on the streets and can last only for up to six hours. It all begins with the mixing and fermentation of the dough on the first day, followed by layering of the cronut with strokes of butter and finally giving it the shape of a cronut on the third day after which it is deep-fried. You can toss it in sugar, then fill it with your choice of flavour and finish it with a glaze in the end. 

Today, you’ll find these cronuts being sold at Ansel’s bakery in New York and a few other places around the world. His idea was to keep close to his roots yet tug at the heartstrings of the people by introducing something that was there on most menus at that time i.e. doughnuts. However, he wanted to give the world something entirely new and that’s how the cronut was born. 

The doughnut and cronut have quite a few similarities and a whole lot of differences. While the doughnut and croissant dough draw similarities with their use of flour, butter and sugar, it is the soft exteriors of the doughnut as opposed to the crispy and crunchy texture of a cronut that distinguish the two apart from the fact that one was invented in America while the other is a French inspiration.