A Look at Scarsdale Artisanal Delights and Their Version of The Croughnut TrendJuly 28, 2014
While people are no longer lining up for the local versions of Cronuts™ and filling our Instagram feeds with them, the pastry hybrid is still a popular treat locally. There are even several places that have it as the main feature of their menus. One such place is Scarsdale Artisanal Delights, located in the S&R building on Shaw Boulevard. A collaboration between Go Nuts Donuts and Chef Carlo Miguel, the menu celebrates the ringed pastry in all its glory. They serve traditional doughnuts made on site, Croughnuts (note the spelling), and sandwiches using doughnut or Croughnut dough. The stars of the show are, of course, the fried confections. Because as overhyped as they have been, a well-made croissant-doughnut lovechild is still quite the treat, I tried a few of what Scarsdale had on offer.
Lemon Meringue (PHP 100)
This croughnut has all the elements of the pie it took its inspiration from. While the flavors are certainly reminiscent of lemon meringue pie, I can’t help but wish that Scarsdale took them just that little bit further. I wanted the lemon curd to be tarter, just enough to make my lips pucker. The florets of meringue looked like they were perfectly toasted, but they didn’t have the sticky crunchiness that would’ve made this croughnut more texturally interesting.
Apple Pie (PHP 100)
I chose this Croughnut because of the generous apple chunks on top of it. Shiny and flecked with cinnamon, they looked just like they were plucked from inside a traditional pie. They tasted like it, too. Unfortunately, that’s where the apple pie flavors started and ended. The cream filling, while pleasant, overwhelmed the fruit, so a bite with all the components was just a mouthful of cream and a hint of apple.
Double Chocolate (PHP 110)
One of Scardsdale’s more basic Croughnuts was, to me, also one of its most successful. It was a good move to stay on the darker side of the chocolate spectrum for both the filling and the topping, with the bitter notes playing well against the buttery richness of the dough. I also enjoyed that the chocolate components were still distinct. The ganache topping was slicker, silkier, and had a darker chocolate flavor. The filling, on the other hand, was lighter and more mellow. The contrast in the textures and the differences in the intensity of the chocolate flavor made this “basic” Croughnut all the more interesting.
Carlo’s Favorite (PHP 100)
I was afraid that the pastillas filling, chocolate ganache, and caramelized walnuts would make Carlo’s Favorite Croughnut too sweet. Thankfully, Chef Carlo Miguel’s sweet tooth is a little more restrained than I feared. The sticky pastillas filling perhaps needed to be milkier to be reminiscent of the paper-wrapped treat, but that could just be pastillas-obsessed me talking. The filling is sweet enough to stand up to the dark chocolate topping, but not so much as to render the crunchy candied walnuts superfluous. The combination works well enough to make me wonder, why are chocolate covered pastillas not a thing already?
Salted Caramel (PHP 100)
As my Pepper profile would tell you, there was no way I was going to pass on a Salted Caramel anything. One bite into this Croughnut, however, made me wish I passed on this particular salted caramel treat. Both the filling and the topping were just too sweet, and hardly had a discernible saltiness in them. It didn’t help that the filling and the glaze were quite similar in their consistency and texture, giving the Croughnut too much of what wasn’t that good a thing to begin with.
Scarsdale does well with their Croughnuts when they give the distinct components their chance to shine, when the balance of flavors and textures are just so that nothing overpowers another. In the less successful combinations, it’s either too much of one thing, like in the Salted Caramel, or too little of another, in the case of the fruit/citrus in the pie-inspired flavors. With a few tweaks here and there, maybe Scarsdale’s Croughnuts will stand the test of people’s fickle tastes and make them a permanent fixture in the local dessert scene.