The Cronut Creed: Dominique Ansel’s Top Five Rules About The Cronut

Since launching the croissant-donut hybrid known as The Cronut on May 10th, Dominique Ansel has never been the same. Instantly, the famed French pastry chef’s namesake bakery in Soho has become the hottest New York venue between the hours of 5:30am and 8am – and it’s not even a nightclub. 

Folks from as far as Dubai and Australia are flying in to get a taste of the flaky, creamy, sweet phenomenon. This week, I sat down with the chef who – like Madonna and Cher – has now been most commonly referred to as simply "Chef," to discuss The Cronut Creed: his top five rules about baking, devouring, and loving The Cronut.

1. The Cronut Shalt Not Discriminate.

While only 300 cronuts are made a day, and only the early-birds can snag ’em, The Cronut feeds a worldly crowd that’s, according to Dominique, "half tourists, half locals, including people who have flown in from Taiwan, Japan, South America. You name it."

2. The Cronut Shalt Not Be Scalped.

Now that scalpers are flooding Craigslist with under-the-table, expensive cronut offers, food has for the first time become a Craigslist scalping commodity. "And I don’t like it," says Dominique. "It’s why we limit the number of cronuts people can get in the store to two."

3. There Is No Wrong Way To Eat A Cronut.

"You can cut it in half," the chef says. "Just bite into it, take it apart layer by layer. But everyone has their own way. Whichever way you have the most fun eating it, is the best way. My favorite is to cut it in half."

4. The Cronut Must Be Eaten Within Six Hours.

"It takes three days to make, is fresh for six hours, and eaten in 30 seconds," he says. "Eat it while you can."

5. One Shall Be Selfish With Their Cronut.

"A lot of people come in early and alone, and come just for a single cronut for themselves with their coffee. And that’s very okay."

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The Cronut

EMM Group’s The General Launches New Bakery Today

The General, EMM Group’s latest Asian restaurant on Bowery, gets even newer with today’s opening of its bakery. And while this is a charming update on the sweets front, the announcement becomes positively electrifying with the introduction of two menu items: World, meet The Cereal-Inspired Donut & The Breakfast Pretzel Bomb.

Crafted by pastry chef Thiago Silva – the chef behind every EMM restaurants’ desserts – the cereal-inspired donuts ($3) come in six combos, three of which include: Fruity Pebbles with Cereal Milk, Coffee with Espresso Cream, and Coco Puffs with Coco Cream. The breakfast pretzel bomb ($4-$5) – a good dose of protein, dairy, and salt – is filled with egg & cheese, with a choice of ham or bacon.

Stumptown Hair Bender coffee is also being served, as is fresh orange & grapefruit juice.

It’s also open seven days a week, from 6am-2pm.

Free Wi-Fi is available.

I know; it just keeps getting better. Life is sweet.

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[Photo: NYT]

Donuts: Chicago’s New Cupcake

Last summer, the donut god came to Chicago in the form of Sprinkles in the city’s Gold Coast area, and hung around through our first bite of Crumbs, which popped up this past winter. The city has no shortage of trendy dessert options, but as a So Cal native, there’s something about the memory of waking up early on Saturday mornings to beat the dawn patrol surfers to the last apple fritter at V.G. Donuts. Suffice to say, I have a soft spot for the hole-y delights, and Chicago does, too, because they keep raining down on our fair city as if from donut heaven.

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The Doughnut Vault, barely two months old, takes me back to my San Diego days. Not because there’s anything beachy about this pint-size spot, but because people actually line up, dozens deep, at 8 in the morning to sample one (or 5) of its many flavors of cakey, yeasty delights. Only early-risers, or their fortunate friends, can indulge in these amazing deep-fried wonders, which come in such varieties as old-fashioned buttermilk, gingerbread and chocolate, vanilla, or chestnut glazed. The Vault, which, true to its name, actually serves donuts out of an old bank vault, opens around 8:30am Tuesday through Friday and 9:30am on Saturdays, closing approximately 90 minutes later when they sell out. Follow them on Twitter to stay in the know.

If you’d rather not wait it out, consider Dirty Betty’s, the weekday morning alter-ego of Lincoln Park’s Cookie Bar. The cash-only spot offers up ten baked varieties, including the newfangled half-donut, a dough-brownie hybrid that’s all but impossible to resist. Or, kick it old-school and hit up Dat Donut, a South Side establishment with a stamp of approval from Bon Appetit, which labeled the shop one of the top-ten donut spots in the country.

Wherever you end up, you’ll see that Chicago is no longer a donut backwater with only insipid, mass-market offerings. We’re gonna need some coffee here, fast.