The Deep-Fried Cronicles: Cronuts, Crookies, and CroclairsNovember 25, 2018
- Mikka WeeWords
When I first heard about the Cronut, I thought that like most food crazes, it would die down quickly. When I saw photos of the long lines, I thought to myself, Sweet! This Cronut dude must be making some serious dough.
A month or so later, Wildflour (in a bold move) made their own version. Other patisseries soon followed suit. Just like in New York, these deep-fried fat-filled babies had people lining up. I didn’t have the chance to go to The Podium during the Cronut”s first few days, so I just got my updates via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And being the snoopy little girl that I am, I’d always leave comments such as “Masarap? (Does it taste good?),” “Mahal? (Is it expensive?),” and “Sulit ba? (Is it worth it?)”
I always got mixed reviews. Some said it was heaven in donut form. Others said it was meh, they thought it wasn’t worth the hype.
I got pretty curious and wondered why I hadn”t gotten any (stop your dirty mind right there). Fortunately, my Aunt brought home a bunch of Chatime Kronuts, and I was able to try them out. They were crunchy and soft, but it reminded me of bicho, a Pinoy fried bread with sugar. The chocolate frosting was quite good, though. It wasn’t too sweet, so it complemented the sweetness of the Kronut. My only issue was that it was too oily for me, I had to wipe my tongue with a paper towel after.
It seemed that just like the Power Rangers, the Cronut was mightily morphing into other crozy creations such as the Crookie (Croissant Cookie), the Croclair (Croissant-Éclair), and the Squats (Square Cronuts). I wouldn’t be surprised if #Crupcakes suddenly started flooding my social media feed, but I hope it doesn”t. Crupcakes don’t sound appetizing at all, especially if they’re chocolate-flavored. Or worse, caramel.
I’ve tried several cro-creations so far, the Cronut, the Crookie, and the Croclair. Here”s my take on all three:
The “Croissant-Donut “ Cronut from Wildflour Bakery Café Podium (PHP 120 each)
I was only able to officially try Wildflour’s Cronut last week. (Side question: Do they have Cronuts in their Fort branch?) There was a queue, so I lined up. The lady asked me what I wanted to order, and I said that I wanted to try out all the Cronut flavors (there were 4 that day: Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Mixed Berry). She apologized and said that each person was limited to 2 Cronuts. When I asked, she said that their bestsellers were the Chocolate and Vanilla flavors. I got the Chocolate Cronut, but opted for the Mixed Berry instead of Vanilla.
My friend told me that a Cronut reportedly contains 1,000 calories a pop. You can imagine my horror when I found out. The consistency of the Cronut itself was crunchy and flaky—just like a croissant (duh), but it had that pillowy-soft bite of a donut. Think of it as a slightly chewier churro filled with vanilla custard. The filling was quite sweet already in itself, so I think Wildflour could make do without the granulated sugar.
Despite my undying love for anything berry, I enjoyed the Chocolate Cronut much more because they used the dark variety. Just like Chatime’s, it balanced out the Cronut’s sugariness. The Mixed Berry, on the other hand, reminded me of jam. It had its tangy notes, but it was on the sweeter side, making that whole 1000-calorie Cronut Theory quite believable. I’d only come back for the chocolate ones, and maybe try some of the other flavors next time.
The “Croissant Cookie” Crookie from Wildflour Bakery Café Podium (PHP 120 each)
The Crookie is Wildflour’s version of the Oreo-Stuffed Croissant. Though I have to stress that they used only an Oreo (singular, yes) for each pastry, and topped it with an Oreo-like frosting. I remembered reading about the original one in Toronto”s Clafouti Patisserie & Cafe via . When sliced in half, the Clafouti version looks like this.
But Wildflour seemed to have scrimped on the Oreos and went heavy with the frosting instead. Here’s their version.
The Crookie was sickeningly sweet and far from the “chocolate-filled kissing cousin” description of Clafouti”s. I already scraped the top off, and it still tasted like I was inviting cavities to party inside my mouth. Also, there was so much space left inside, they could fill it with a couple more Oreos if they wanted (the double-stuffed variety, even!). For its price, I was pretty disappointed. I should’ve bribed someone in line to get me another Cronut instead.
The Croclair (Croissant-Éclair) from Mesclun Bistro (PHP 125 each; PHP 1,375 per dozen)
Our good friend Kat Kuhn-Alcantara from Mesclun Bistro sent us a box of her Croclairs a couple of weeks ago. They came in two flavors: Traditional Éclair (chocolate-glazed filled with pastry cream) and Lemon Cream. She told me that she just finished the lemon ones literally 5 minutes before sending them over, and that she was going to come up a Salted Caramel flavor soon.
One of Kat’s fortes is really her pastry making skills. She’s the one you need to thank for the quality of Chuck Deli’s Slabwiches. We weren’t surprised at all at how good these were.
Between the two, I enjoyed the Traditional Éclair Croclair more. The chocolate wasn’t too sweet, and the filling was cool, light, and distinctly vanilla-y. It also had the right amount of filling, so it didn’t make the croissant dough soggy. I have to admit I couldn’t finish one on my own, though.
The Lemon Cream Croclair was citrusy and a refreshing break from all the rich flavors. I personally felt that it could’ve used more vanilla in the curd, but it was still a pretty decent pastry.
I now understand why people would make such a fuss about Cronuts. They’re quite a unique bunch, and I’d like to commend Dominique Ansel for this novel creation. The hyped-up hybrids gave me such a sugar rush, but it was all followed by a pretty bad sugar crash after. I love eating them, but they wouldn’t be something I’d crave for.
What other cronut variations have you sampled? Which brands do you think we should try out? Any sentiments on the crazy pastries mentioned above? Let us know in the comments section below!