This post includes the things I learned or wish I’d done when I made the at-home cronut from Dominique Ansel’s book, “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes.” The cronuts were delicious, and I’ll be making them again!
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A few years ago, I went to a Dominique Ansel demo and cookbook signing. I was excited to try out the recipes in the cookbook. The first one I wanted to try was the cronut. Taking three days to make, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you really like to cook and you’re pretty good in the kitchen, it’s not one of those recipes that will make you want to pull your hair out. There are a lot of steps, but there is also a lot of waiting time. My biggest takeaway is making sure to get the timing of everything right so you aren’t up at 10:00 frying cronuts (more on this later).
The cronut recipe, along with many of his famous other recipes, are in the book Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes. I’m finally starting to bake my way through the book. I made the perfect little breakfast sandwiches last week, and the DKA is on my list to make soon. I love this book because it has memories and stories in it – those kinds of cookbooks are my favorite.
P.S. If you want the real deal, Dominique Ansel Bakery is open. The website has a section on how to get a cronut.
Tips For Making Cronuts
Plan Your Timing
Time everything so that you’re frying the cronuts at a time when you’ll be able to consume all of them within 8 hours. The book gives very good instructions with timing, but my planning was the problem. I didn’t plan the timing of my third day very well at all and forgot that there was additional time needed to let the cronuts rise (again). I also didn’t remember the note that they should be consumed within 8 hours. As a result, I was up at 10:00 PM frying cronuts. It was great to finally get to taste them even though it was late!
The note about consuming within 8 hours is legit. I ate another the next morning (about 9:00 AM), and it was still pretty good, but it would have been way better closer to when I fried them. Next time I make these, I’m going to work backwards into specific timing for all steps from that 8-hour consumption period. (Yes, I just admitted that I’m going to plan 3 days of my life around a pastry recipe.)
Check Your Ingredients Inventory Twice
Buy enough grapeseed oil. My store sells grapeseed oil in small-ish bottles. I was able to make do with one bottle, but more would have been better. I wasn’t really paying attention to the size when I ordered it on Instacart. Just remember that you’ll need enough for the cronuts to be able to swim around in when they’re frying.
Use unsalted butter (for real though). Clutch your pearls, but I do almost all of my baking with salted butter. I used salted butter for these because I forgot to buy unsalted, but unsalted is definitely the way to go. These have so much butter in them that salted butter really will affect the flavor profile.
Check Your Equipment Inventory Twice
I ended up not filling my cronuts because I couldn’t find my Bismarck tip. Oh, but guess what I found a week later? Yep, my Bismarck tip. I also didn’t realize that my cutters weren’t quite the right size, so I ended up having larger holes than I should have. You will need a 3.5 inch and a 1 inch cutter for these. They were still kinda close!
Use masking tape to mark your work surface or use a mat with measurements. Don’t waste your money on a silicone mat if you have pets who shed a lot. You know what sticks to silicone like crazy? Pet hair. I used painter’s tape to mark my 10 inch and 15 inch squares.
Make sure the dough is rolled out to an even thickness before cutting. I started cutting them out before realizing that the thickness was slightly different in a few areas. This resulted in a few lopsided cronuts.
Make sure you have enough fridge space. This dough has to chill several times. You will need room for a 15 inch x 15 inch square on day 3.