Valentine’s day is coming up this weekend. I hope everyone has made their reservations already! If you don’t have a date this year, that’s okay because I am about to introduce you to the lovely Mr. Cronut. Strawberry Champagne Cronut is his full name actually, and I promise he will definitely impress.
A cronut is a cross between a a croissant and a donut. It’s flakey, buttery, and crispy on the outside with fluffy layers on the inside – filled with cream! No wonder why there was a black market for these when they were first invented.
Making croissant dough from scratch is a very long process. Although do-able, I thought I would save that process for another post, another day. Instead, we will be putting our time and energy towards a delicious strawberry champagne cream filling, which uses real strawberries for flavor.
3 1/2 c (550g) strawberries
1/3c (70g) sugar
3/4c (200g) strawberry jus (see below)
2 tbsp (20g) cornstarch
1/4c (50g) 1st heavy cream
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp (30g) butter
1/3c (90g) 2nd heavy cream (whipped)
1/2c (120g) champagne
12 frozen croissants
First, you will need to make strawberry jus. This stuff is basically liquid gold. It slowly heats the strawberries so that they release all their flavors into this liquid. Use about 3.5 cups of strawberries to make sure you get enough jus. The amount of jus that comes out of the strawberries may differ depending on the season and quality of berries (if you use strawberries with zero flavor, you don’t get much jus).
Any leftover jus can be frozen and saved for later.
Start by putting the strawberries and sugar in a bowl, covered with plastic. Set on top of a pot with steaming water. You don’t want any bubbles in the water, just steam! I usually leave this and go watch tv or something for a couple of hours. If you don’t have time or don’t feel like waiting, you can slice the strawberries to help it go a little faster, but you need to wait a couple of hours for your dough to proof anyways. I don’t recommend slicing the strawberries when frozen (safety first).
Now for the dough, I went with Trader’s Joe’s frozen croissants. I tried the chocolate croissants and the queen of croissants just because they are both square/ rectangular when unfolded. I assumed this gave me the least amount of wasted dough. I also saw that Walmart had frozen croissants for about the same price, but they were the classic shapes which meant they would be triangles when unfolded. You could definitely use those too if you wanted. You just might have some more dough leftover.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT use pillsbury crescent rolls. They are NOT the same thing.
*Put leftover dough in a ziploc and freeze it for later. They will be perfect for bread pudding – coming soon!
Thaw the frozen dough for about 30min – 1 hour until they are soft enough to unfold. The chocolate ones I just removed the chocolate pieces, and the queen of croissants was covered in sugar. No big deal, but just a bit of a mess. Both kinds gave me the same size cronuts.
Cut into donut shapes and let proof for about 2-3 hours. I know the box says overnight or 7-9 hours, but they were done rising by the 3rd hour. If you want to leave them overnight, that is fine also.
Make sure you leave them on a floured surface, or on silpats like I did.
The strawberries are done when the white part (where the stems were cut off) are no longer white:
Strain through a cheese cloth, and let drip. DO NOT SQUEEZE! Squeezing the liquid out of the strawberries will defeat the whole process because you will be extracting the water content of the strawberries that don’t have much flavor. You want to keep this liquid gold as pure as possible.
If you want to get every last drop, it could take a hour to finish dripping, but honestly, you don’t get much more after 15 minutes.
Add the butter, mix until melted. Add the champagne, and whisk until combined.
Whip the 2nd heavy cream (1/3c) to soft peaks
Fold in the strawberry mixture
Our cronut dough is looking nice and puffy, so we will set up the fryer. If you have a deep fryer, awesome! Mine has been neglected and was pretty gross, so I just used a pot and my candy thermometer.
Fry at 375°F until golden. You fill have to flip it once. FYI, the donut holes didn’t fry up well at all. I would save it with all the scrap pieces in the freezer before proofing.
Left cool before filling. If the cronuts are still warm, it will deflate your cream. When you fill them, do so by poking 4 holes at the top. I found it helpful to use a knife to poke the holes, so I didn’t squish the cronuts. Be careful not to overfill because they will start leaking cream from the sides and the top.
For the glaze, I used Alton Brown’s chocolate donut glaze. I did end up cutting the sugar in half and reheating it after the sugar was added.
They’re also delicious with just powdered sugar on top.
Happy Valentines Day!
- 3 1/2 c (550g) strawberries
- 1/3c (70g) sugar
- 3/4c (200g) strawberry jus (see below)
- 2 tbsp (20g) cornstarch
- 1/4c (50g) 1st heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp (30g) butter
- 1/3c (90g) 2nd heavy cream (whipped)
- 1/2c (120g) champagne
- 12 frozen croissants (3 boxes)
- Make strawberry jus by putting strawberries and sugar in a bowl
- cover with plastic
- set on top of steaming ban marie until strawberries are no longer white in the middle (about 3 hours)
- strain through cheesecloth and let drip, don't squeeze
- measure out 3/4c strawberry jus and add into a small pot with cornstarch, 1st heavy cream, and yolk
- whisk to combine
- continually stir until thickened, simmering for another minute
- add butter and stir until combined
- add champagne and whisk until combined
- whip 2nd heavy cream
- fold strawberry mixture into the whipped cream
- set aside in the fridge until ready to use
- Left frozen croissant dough thaw enough to work with
- unroll and cut into donut shapes
- left proof for 3-9 hours
- fry at 375°F until golden brown (about a min on each side)
- let cool
- fill by using a small piping tip and inserting at the top of the cronut, in 4 different spots
- do not overfill
- decorate with powdered sugar or glaze.
- recommended donut glaze recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chocolate-doughnut-glaze-recipe.html