At last! The cronut (or "croughnut") comes to Chicago! | Bleader

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

At last! The cronut (or "croughnut") comes to Chicago!

Posted By on 06.12.13 at 09:27 AM

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The elusive cronut
  • The elusive cronut
It's been only a month since Dominque Ansel started selling cronuts. Only a month since he started making a mere 200 per day, since New Yorkers started lining up outside Ansel's SoHo bakery at the butt-crack of dawn in order to get a shot at purchasing their allotment of three precious pastries apiece, since the cronut became the talk of the pastry world beyond New York, since disappointed would-be cronut buyers started flipping off Ansel's baristas, since several apparently-thriving cronut delivery services opened for business on Craigslist, operating, in some cases, at an 800 percent markup. And it's been only a week since the cronut backlash began and the first copycats—called "doissants"—appeared in DC and Indianapolis, and a day since a baker in Minneapolis claimed he's been making his own doughnut-croissant hybrid for years, only nobody knew or gave a shit since he was in Minnesota (though the last part of that statement went unsaid because Minnesotans have to uphold their reputation for niceness).

So naturally, it's time for Chicago to get its own version of the cronut. Except it won't be called the cronut since Ansel has already trademarked the name. It will instead be called the "croughnut." And it won't be in Chicago. It will be in Elmhurst, at Gür Sweets Bakery.

"As soon as I read about Ansel, I was inspired to come up with my own recipe," says Rubina Hafeez, Gür Sweets' owner and pastry chef. "I do a lot of fusion," she continues, noting that since she opened her bakery last November, she's regularly offered an array of American, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian pastries. "The cronut was a combination of ethnicities, American and European. I thought, 'Why not?'"

Within a couple of weeks, she had a workable recipe. (It took Ansel two months to come up with the original.) Like the first iteration of the cronut, the first croughnuts will be filled with vanilla cream and covered with a rose-flavored glaze. But that's only for the first two weeks; after that, Hafeez will introduce a new flavor biweekly, starting with strawberry-mango.

And, like Ansel, Hafeez plans to make only a limited quantity each day.

"It takes three to four days [to make a croughnut]," she explains. "With croissant dough, you have to roll it out and relax it, roll it out and relax it, and then, before you fry it, relax it one last time. If you work quickly, the dough becomes tough, and you don't get the flaky texture."

Hafeez has never tasted a cronut. But she describes her own croughnuts as "very light. They're crispy on the outside, so you get a little crunch when you bite into them. The inside is very soft with cream filling. I fry them in canola oil. It's not heavy."

The first croughnuts will go on sale this Saturday, 6/15, at 7 AM. They will sell for $5 apiece, and customers will only be able to buy two or four at a time, Hafeez hasn't decided yet. There's no black-market activity on Craigslist at the moment, but since Gür Sweets is half an hour from downtown by car and more than an hour by public transportation, it's probably only a matter of time.

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