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Fast to catch up with the latest trends in "everything" Lebanon is often the first to adventure in new concepts which seems to be succeeding worldwide. One such trend is the Cronut. The new pastry originally created by Chef Dominique Ansel, is now available at Casper&Gambini’s (which I tasted lately) and at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut.
I was excited to actually see one live. A thousand layers of fine pastry sheets one on top of the other. It looks appealing, calling out for you to come take a bite and taste its essence. I may not have tried the original one, but I can safely describe the points I liked and disliked here... and I truly believe that this innovation taking the world by storm needs more work - at least the one I tried at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Just to make things clear:
- The original CRONUT, "Half Croissant, Half Doughnut" it is not made by frying croissant dough
- The original Cronut is rolled in sugar
- The original Cronut is topped with an homogenous layer of glaze
My description of The Four Seasons Hybrid-Cronut:
- A round circular wheel, empty from the inside exactly like a donut
- Dozens of pastry layers, one over the other looking like a mille feuille
- A little white glaze on top diminishes the class of this donut making it look weak. As for the chocolate one, a dark bitter chocolate decoration is not the best impression you want to see
- Looking at the Cronut, you understand the great quantity of oil that constitutes it
- Having the same dimension of a donut, the Cronut should be higher, even twice the size
- The inside filing, the cream, should not appear spilling on the borders
- The Cronuts can look much better
Tasting the Cronut:
- As soon as you grab the Cronut, your hands get soaked from the quantity of oil
- The first bite reveals a donut taste and a croissant aftertaste making you confirm the: "A croissant fried like a donut theory". That should not be the case
- The upper layer of chocolate is too dark, even bitter and doesn't fit with the inner light chocolate cream filling. A bitter taste follows you all the way until you remove the topping
- The overall creation lacks the crunchiness you would imagine to enjoy when you see it: The rich crunchiness of a croissant: "Why use pastry dough then?"
- After swallowing, an oil after taste stays around for some time
- Unfortunately, this Cronut is not crunchy but chewy like a donut without the pleasant taste of the donut which melts under your teeth like butter
- The inner cream filling is too watery and too sweet. It would have to be harder and less sweet
All of this is my personal opinion: I encourage you to give it a try
My verdict: I didn't taste the original Cronut yet but this one is not something I would want to buy often especially that its named after an international creation that has toured the world and have made people wait in line starting 4am in the morning in line to get a hold this $5 out of this world creation. Chef Dominique only produces 500 daily. So, I would imagine that the New York one is breathtaking.
It's great to see that we are always on the move up to try out new things and experiment with original recipes...I give credit to the pastry chef for trying and encourage you to taste this latest creation that many of you will love...