Wednesday, June 26, 2013

YumNuts! My version of Cronuts

So by now I am sure most of you have heard about the latest craze hitting the shelves of bakeries and patisseries all over the world called the Cronut. Developed by Dominique Ansel in New York, now popping up all over the place under different names, the Cronut is a mix between the croissant and a donut. He even trademarked the name Cronut but that wont stop people from making their own versions, including me!

Now I don't make donuts, deep frying things does not impress me much, and I only made my first croissant just the other week. This was completely new territory for me. Still, the idea intrigued me so I researched a bit. It turns out that a croissant and donut hybrid isn't exactly a new concept. I came across a comment under a Cronut recipe (which was just Pillsbury Cresent rolls cut into donut shapes and deep fried :S) which lead me to the website of James Morton, runner up on Great British Bake Off.

Turns out there are these things called Yum Yums! Normally in the shape of a twisted stick, they are a laminated dough that is deep-fried and glazed, hence croissant and donut hybrid! Now I'm not going to pretend I know the background behind them but the point is they aren't new. So I decided to use the Yum Yum recipe, make them donut shaped and call them YumNuts, done and done.

My verdict is that they are very indulgent, pretty much a donut but with a lighter dough. If I made them again I would try using low protein cake flour to make them a bit more flaky and light, I wouldn't combine the butter until the laminating phase (like how I made the Croissants) and I would rest the dough in between each roll and fold process. I feel these small improvements might make the layers more defined and bring a stronger croissant feel to these mostly donut YumNuts.

Yum Nuts!

Recipe adapted from James Morton's Yum Yums

What you will need

500g flour
2 sachets yeast
5g salt
30g sugar
250g water, a tiny bit warm
1 egg
100g butter

Oil, for frying

250g icing sugar, sifted
60ml water

Pastry Cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

What you will need to do

In a bowl mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Dice the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Mix lightly with a spoon (you don't need to combine the butter, it won't). Add the water and egg and mix until all the flour is incorporated, get your hands in there! It may be a wet mess but that is ok. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight. If your short on time, leave it to rest at room temperature for at least half an hour.

Once it has rested long enough, put the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a long rectangle. Fold the ends in to the middle and then the whole thing in half like a book.

Repeat this process until all the lumps of butter have been fully incorporated into the dough. It took me about 6 times. Rest the dough in the fridge for up to 2 hours, or at least half an hour.

Once it has rested, place back on the floured bench and roll out to about 2cm thick. Now you can cut out your donut shapes, if you don't have round cutters, improvise. I used an egg ring and the big end of a piping tip to cut out mine.

Place the shapes on a lined baking tray and leave for an hour to double in size.

When they are ready to fry, make up your icing glaze by mixing the icing sugar with water to form a smooth consistency. You can add or use less water to make it however runny you want. Prepare a baking tray with a wire rack over it to place the YumNuts once they are cooked. Heat enough oil in a pan to submerge your YumNuts on low heat. Use a piece of leftover dough to test when it will be ready to fry. You don't want the oil too hot or they will burn and be doughy on the inside. USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN COOKING WITH HOT OIL! Gently place a few YumNuts into the oil and cook until brown on the bottom then flip them over.

I gave mine a few minutes on each side. Carefully remove from the oil and place on wire rack over baking tray. Brush with glaze and set aside until cool.

I added some decorations to mine in the form of smarties, 100's and 1000's, chopped pecans and chocolate. You can use whatever you like or just leave them with glaze.

To make the pastry cream, warm milk in saucepan over low heat until just starting to steam. Meanwhile mix the eggs, sugar and flours together until smooth. When the milk starts steaming, add half of it to the egg mixture and whisk constantly. Add the egg and milk mixture back to the pan with remaining milk and whisk continuously. Whisk until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside until cool. Place pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Use the nozzle to make a small hole in the side of a YumNut and pipe in some pasy cream. You may need to do a few holes around the YumNut to fill it all.

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