#NationalDoughnutWeek is nearly over (I actually think the last day is today) and I’m running out of time to get the Gin & Tonic Cronuts™ finished in time for it. I know this might seem strange, as some of you may remember that the last time I made Cronuts™ I swore I would never make them again.
For those of you that don’t know, and if you don’t, where have you been? A Cronut™ is a deep-fried croissant covered in sugar, stuffed with a filling of your choice and glazed, it was created by Dominique Ansell from his New York Bakery.
The problem with Cronuts™ is that although they are a bit of a faff to make, they taste so good. So you see, the rewards far outweigh the efforts and here I find myself, mixing, shaping, proving, frying, filling and glazing these Cronuts™, desperate for them to be finished so that I can eat them.
The first time I made Cronuts™ I didn’t really know what to expect, after making what is essentially a croissant dough (which is quite a time consuming process), it’s a bit depressing when you realise you can’t just put them on trays in the oven for 15 mins and be done with them.
Instead they need frying, something I find quite scary. Although nothing untoward happened when making these, I always panic a little when deep frying food. It’s not something I would want to do often. Then they are rolled in sugar, stuffed with creme patissiere and glazed.
The idea for these Cronuts™ was something I had been playing about with for a little while. As Cronuts™ are quite rich and heavy, I wasn’t sure whether to go down the citrus route, or to make a chocolate version. As I couldn’t decide, I posed the question to my facebook followers and Gin & Tonic Cronuts™ were the winners.
I can’t pretend I wasn’t pleased, I thought gin & tonic Cronuts™ would work better and a G&T (or two) is one of my absolute favourite drinks. My favourite gin is Hendricks, but I didn’t really feel like incorporating cucumber into this recipe! So I went for one of the many other gins that I happily enjoy, Bombay Sapphire.
I added gin and lime juice to the creme patissiere that was used to fill these Cronuts™ and the icing was made with tonic water and more lime juice. I don’t know if you’ve ever used tonic water to make icing before, but I found out it makes the icing taste like sherbet, I’ll definitely try it again, I wonder if it would work with coca-cola…perhaps that’s a step too far.
I’m not going to say Cronuts™ are quick and easy to make, but they are definitely worth giving a go, at least once.
- ***Croissant Dough***
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour
- 60g Granulated Sugar
- 10g Powdered Milk
- 12g Salt
- 100g Softened Butter
- 25g Fresh Yeast or 2½ tsp of fast action dried yeast
- 230ml Cold Water
- 250g Chilled Butter
- Vegetable or Rapeseed Oil
- ***Gin & Lime Creme Patissiere***
- 250ml Milk
- 60g Granulated Sugar
- 25g Corn Flour
- 3 Egg Yolks (60g)
- 1 Lime (juiced)
- 25g Butter
- 1 Tbsp Gin
- ***G&T Glaze***
- 200g Icing Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Gin
- 1 Tbsp Tonic Water
- ½ Lime (juiced)
- ***To Decorate***
- Caster Sugar
- Lime peel
- Place the flour, sugar, powdered milk, salt and softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Crumble in the yeast, making sure it does not touch the salt.
- Knead at medium speed, gradually pouring in the water, until smooth, about 6 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- On a lightly floured work surface, flatten the dough into a rectangle. Cover with cling film and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Ten minutes before you begin working again, place the 250g of chilled butter in the freezer.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a rectangle 6mm thick.
- Dust the chilled butter with flour. Roll out the butter into a rectangle half the size of the dough. If the butter is soft, roll it out between sheets of parchment paper that has been lightly dusted with flour.
- Arrange the dough with a short side facing you. Place the butter on the bottom half of the dough.Fold the top half of the dough over the butter to enclose it completely.
- Rotate the dough clockwise 90 degrees, so that an open edge is facing you. Roll out the dough lengthwise into a rectangle 6mm thick.Fold up the bottom third of the dough so it covers one third of the dough. Fold down the top third to meet the edge.
- Fold the entire dough in half to make a double turn. Press down lightly so it is smooth and even.
- This makes 4 layers of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, arrange the dough with an open side facing you and the closed side on the right. Roll out again into a rectangle 6mm thick. Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter. There are now 3 layers of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of about 2cm and use a cutter to stamp out 16 8cm rounds. Then in the middle of each circle, use a 1cm cutter to make them into a doughnut shape.
- Place the ring doughnuts on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave them somewhere warm to prove until doubled in size (around 2 hours).
- While the dough is proving, use this time to make the creme patissiere, combine the sugar and corn flour in a medium bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk just until the sugar is combined, do not let it get too pale, add the lime juice.
- Bring the milk to a boil and then whisk a third of the milk into the egg mixture to loosen it.
- Whisk in the remaining milk and return the mixture to the saucepan, cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly.
- As soon as the pastry cream begins to thicken, remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth. Stir in the gin.
- Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with a layer of clingfilm, pressing it down so it touches the surface of the cream. This will stop a skin forming, place the creme patissiere in the fridge and allow to cool completely.
- By now the doughnuts will have proved, before you start frying, get a bowl of caster sugar ready and some kitchen roll and place it on top of a cake rack. Heat a deep pan of oil (you'll need at least 1 litre of oil) to 180C and add two doughnuts at a time, cooking them for 2 minutes on each side, then using a slotted spoon place the doughnuts on a wire rack covered in kitchen roll. When they are cool enough to touch, roll the sides in sugar.
- Continue to cook all the doughnuts, making sure the oil stays at 180C the entire cooking time (you may need to tweak the heat for this) and dusting the sides in caster sugar.
- Once the doughnuts are all cooked, leave them to cool and then poke four holes in the bottom of them with a skewer or chopstick. Put the creme patissiere in a piping bag and fill the four holes with the creme patissiere.
- To make the glaze sift the icing sugar into a bowl, mix it to a thin consistency with the gin, tonic water and lime juice.
- Using a spoon drizzle the glaze over the top of the cakes and then decorate them with a piece of candied lime.
- These will keep for a couple of days, but they are best eaten on the day you make them.
Have you enjoyed any doughnuts this week for #NationalDoughnutWeek?
Thanks for reading.
I’ve also added this to Fabulous Foodie Fridays.