A Cronut is a croissant-doughnut pastry invented by New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery. The pastry resembles a doughnut and is made from croissant-like dough which is filled with flavored cream and fried in grapeseed oil. A trademark was registered for the name "cronut" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Official Cronut pastries are sold only at the Dominique Ansel Bakery locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and London.
The Cronut was introduced on May 10, 2013 at Ansel's bakery, Dominique Ansel Bakery, in New York's Soho neighborhood. On the same night, a blogger from Grub Street, the online restaurant blog from New York magazine, reported on the new pastry. The post resulted in much interest and online circulation, and by the third day, a line of over 100 people had formed outside the shop to buy it. Soon, Cronut pastry fans spanned the world from Berlin to Singapore, making it the most virally talked about dessert item in history, including being named by TIME magazine as one of the best "extremely fun" inventions of 2013 . Taking 2 months and more than 10 different recipes to develop, Chef Dominique’s creation is not to be mistaken as simply a croissant that’s been fried; it is made with a laminated dough which has been likened to a croissant (but uses a proprietary recipe) and is first proofed[contradictory], then fried in grape seed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut pastry is flavored in three ways: 1) rolled in sugar, 2) filled with cream, and 3) topped with glaze. The entire process takes up to three days.
Within nine days of introducing the pastry to the Bakery's menu, Ansel filed for a trademark for the "Cronut" name.
Dominique Ansel released an At-Home Cronut Recipe in his cookbook, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, in 2015, for bakers to attempt in their own homes. Like the original pastry made at Ansel's bakeries, the process also takes three days to make.
In July 2013, Dominique Ansel Bakery launched a series of charitable campaigns with the Cronut to benefit the Food Bank for New York City. The Cronut Project campaign, sponsored by Dominique Ansel and three staffmembers at BBH, benefited the Food Bank for New York City by raising over US$6,000 in six days with only twelve Cronut pastries.
In September 2013, Dominique Ansel Bakery partnered with Shake Shack to offer Cronut Hole Concretes, featuring Cronut Holes and brown butter caramel custard. Hundreds lined up as early as 4 a.m. for a chance to purchase one of these 1000 concretes. All proceeds, over $5,300, went to the NYPD Widows and Children Fund and Madison Square Park Conservancy.
At a live auction in October 2013 benefiting City Harvest (a New York City food rescue organization) Dominique Ansel, with auctioneer Nicholas Lowry and Questlove, auctioned a dozen freshly baked Cronut pastries for $14,000 in less than twenty minutes.
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