Monthly Archives: June 2013

Adventures In Vegan Cronut Making

If you live in NYC, you’ve probably heard of the cronut craze consuming Manhattan. Cronuts are a cross between a yeast doughnut and a croissant, a treat brought to the U.S. by French pastry chef Dominique Ansel who has customers lining up outside of his SoHo bakery as early at 6 am. Ansel only makes a few hundred cronuts a day, making them a rare and somewhat exotic treat. Obviously, people are insane, but I wanted to know what the big deal was, so I tried making vegan cronuts last weekend.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I suck at deep frying. It was never something that happened in my health-conscious household growing up, and it’s been my most dreaded part of this project so far. I like to think I’m a pretty creative, competent cook, but deep frying and cooking rice (I know, I know) are two things I fail miserably at. After I fried a few things for the GGV project, I was certain I had mastered the art and decided cronuts would be easy (Note: I’ve never made yeast doughnuts or croissants before). Not so much.

One of my gripes about many food blogs is that everything always looks so perfect. I understand “food porn” is suppose to be a fantasy, and you’re not suppose to see the mess or the mistakes behind a post, but we all know that’s not how things actually go down in the kitchen. Shit can get crazy.

I made a slightly altered vegan version of The Boy Who Bakes‘ cronut recipe,  and everything was going well until it came to the frying. My oil was too hot and the cronuts ended up golden brown on the outside and almost raw on the inside. Also, my strawberry “frosting” turned out to be more of a glaze, so that’s something I need to work on. The cronut holes, however, were perfect. So if you’re dying for a vegan cronut, there is hope.

I’m going to try this again because I will get it right. But until I’ve perfected it, I’m not going to share the recipe. Instead, here are a few photos of my first try!

cronut3 cronut2

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Original Recipe | Shiitake Bacon

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I was busy prepping for and competing in the second vegan cook-off here last weekend (hors d’oeuvres was the theme) so I sort of dropped the ball with blogging. I made “Bro-stini,” my Bro’d up version of crostini. It was a waffle fry topped with a scoop of buffalo mac and cheese, drizzled with ranch dressing and garnished with shiitake bacon and scallions. I didn’t place, but judge Terri Hope Romero gave me an honorary mention, saying that if my fries weren’t cold (this was served at room temp.), my dish would’ve been awesome. Her kind words were reward enough!

I don’t want to share my buffalo mac recipe just yet, because it needs some tweaking (it wasn’t stick-together-y enough for what I wanted), but I’ll share my shiitake bacon recipe, because that seems to be the hot new thing. These mushroom bits go great with anything that needs a smokey touch. They’re also excellent on their own, and I stood around my kitchen munching on them before I realized I needed to save them for the competition.

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Also, I apologize for the shoddy iPhone photos. I didn’t have my fancy camera on me.

Enjoy!

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