While the lines over at J.Co Donuts and Coffee are still very long, a new food craze is taking Manila by storm — and I’m not talking about cookie butter or tonkatsu. I’m referring to the sweet pastry that goes by the following names: cronut (trademark pending), croughnut, cro-nut, croinut or doussant. Judging from those names, one can easily surmise that this pastry is essentially a hybrid of a croissant and a doughnut, which is what it really is. It was only during the first half of this year when the cronut made its debut in New York City, but Manila quickly caught up and joined in the cronuts craze. I personally was reluctant to try it, but then I thought I’ve always been a fan of croissants/puff pastries and donuts — plus I was curious about all the hype, so I caved in and I’m not sorry.
The first one I sampled was this Double Belgian Chocolate Croughnut (P89) from Le Coeur de France. It wasn’t a case of love-at-first-bite, but I didn’t have a hard time gobbling it up. Although it’s more soft and chewy rather than flaky, it’s delicious and not too greasy (because it’s baked, not fried). The size is just right to satisfy a sweet craving. The best thing about it is the yummy chocolate topping.
Next I tried Cafe France‘s version, which is simply called French Donut (P99). I chose the Salted Caramel variety over the Classic Chocolate and Lemon Custard. This half-croissant-half-donut obviously bathed in cooking oil — it was way too greasy. The texture of the puff pastry was okay and the salted caramel frosting was really good — more salty than sweet, which gives the pastry a nice flavor contrast.
The cheapest cronut I found was, surprisingly enough, from the Deli Snack shop of Century Park Hotel. The Chocolate Pistachio Cronut (P55) is about the same size as the one from Le Coeur de France, but it is oozing with so much cream filling that made it kind of cloying. Overall, it’s alright for its price, considering pistachio nuts are pretty costly.
The last one I sampled for the purpose of this blog entry is from The Jeepney Bakery of Intercontinental Manila. Among the different flavors, the Red Velvet Cro-nut (P130) was what caught my attention. Out of the 4 cronuts I’ve tried, this one was the flakiest (if there is such a word) and was toasted to a fine crisp but also very, very oily. There was no hint of cream cheese, just a delicate filling that tasted like Bavarian cream. The cro-nut didn’t have the distinct taste of red velvet cakes, just a sugar-sweet glaze that I adore.
Who’s to say what cronuts should really taste like? As long as they taste good, then that’s all that matters. Now that I’ve tried them, I can say that I like them a lot but not enough to compel me to fall in line just to get some. I’m not that nuts about cronuts.