Friday, June 6, 2014

National Doughnut Day..!

Cronuts are the latest dessert craze to hit the world. A cross between croissants and donuts = cronuts, they are wonderfully flaky and delicious...

Yield: Makes 12 cronuts


Vanilla pastry cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cronut dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
5 cups peanut or vegetable oil

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup vanilla cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water


To make the vanilla pastry cream -
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and 1/4 cup of the sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar, flour, and salt. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly whisk it into the egg and flour mixture.
When all of the milk has been blended in, add the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat (whisking constantly) until the mixture is boiling and thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and pour the mixture through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the service of the cream so a skin does not form. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the cronut dough -

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk and water and heat for a few seconds in the microwave to lukewarm. Whisk in the yeast with the warm milk and water and let stand for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble.

Add the flour, sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter to a stand mixer bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with the paddle attachment until just combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another minute. Press the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. At this point, punch down the dough, wrap and chill for 1 hour.

While your waiting, place the cup of butter between 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten and shape into an 8-by-8-inch square.

Once your butter block is ready, roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch by 12-inch square. Place the butter square on top of the dough square so that the corners of the butter block are pointing to the sides of the dough square.

Fold the corners of the dough over the butter block to meet in the center. Use your fingers to pinch together the dough at the seams so the butter block is completely sealed. Roll dough out into a 20-by-8-inch rectangle. (If the dough is too stiff, smack it a few times with the rolling pin to soften.) Brush off any excess flour and fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Repeat the folding and chilling process 2 more times.

Once dough is chilled after its final fold, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 6-by-18-inch rectangle. Use a very sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 3 6-by-6-inch squares and stack the squares on top of each other. Roll the dough into a 6-by-8-inch rectangle. All this folding and stacking creates layers and layers of buttery croissant dough.

Using donut ring cutters, cut 12 donut shapes out of the dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the donuts loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Place the oil in a large pot and heat to 350 degrees. Fry donuts for about 1½ minutes, flipping them in the oil halfway through, until they are golden brown all over. Don't crowd the pan, fry in batches if needed. Place on a paper towel lined plate to cool.

For assembly -

In a bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Fill a piping bag fitted with a long narrow tip with the vanilla cream. In a separate bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and water. Add more water if necessary, but make sure glaze is not too watery.

Inject the cronut with vanilla cream, roll in sugar, and drizzle glaze over the top.

- On the road post