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Food

Jo Wheatley's mini lemon ginger cronuts

by Sarah Randell

'Really?!' was the collective cry when we heard about the new sugar-fix craze, the cronut – a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. Created by the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, the cronut had to be put to the taste test. I called our baking expert Jo Wheatley. 'Yes, they're great,' she said. 'I've made a lemon and ginger version and am about to try them with a banana cream, too – I'll send you the recipe.' And so Emma, our recipe tester extraordinaire, set to work in the test kitchen.

Day one: dough made (let me tell you, there's a scary amount of butter in there and I'm no butter wimp).
Day two: cronut frying day. Emma stamped the little beauties out of the dough and followed the steps below.
Result: they are delicious. Imagine a sugary, buttery doughnut with crunch.

So, are you a cronut convert? Tell us what you think in the comments box below.

MINI LEMON GINGER CRONUTS - Makes 15

For the dough
500g strong white flour
1½ tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast
25g caster sugar
400g cold unsalted butter
vegetable oil, for deep frying
golden caster sugar, to dust
150ml double cream
1 ball of stem ginger, plus 2 tbsp of the syrup
zest of 1 small lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
For the glaze icing
3-4 tsp lemon juice
100g icing sugar

1. Put the flour, salt, yeast, caster sugar and 300-320ml lukewarm water in a bowl. Give everything a good mix until the dough comes together, then turn it out and knead it for 5 minutes.

2. Return the dough to the bowl and leave for 1 hour in a warm place to double in size.

3. Place the butter on a piece of baking paper, cover with another piece of baking paper and flatten with a rolling pin to measure 20 x 40cm. Wrap well in clingfilm and chill until very cold and firm.

4. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out on to the work surface and knock it back by punching out the air with your fist.

5. Roll the dough out into a 20 x 60cm rectangle. Place the chilled butter on top, to cover the top two thirds of the dough. Fold the remaining third of the dough up, then fold down the top third of the dough (and butter).

cronuts---folding-the-pastry.jpg

6. Wrap well in clingfilm and place the dough in the fridge to rest for 1 hour. Repeat this rolling, folding and chilling process four times. Finally, chill the dough over night.

7. The next day, roll out the dough until you have a layer about 4cm thick. With a 5cm cutter, stamp out discs, then cut out the centres using a small round cutter (such as the end of a piping nozzle).

8. Place on to a lined baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour until very cold.

cronuts---raw-in-tray.jpg

9. Heat your deep fat fryer (or use a large heavy saucepan filled with 2 litres of vegetable oil, and use a sugar thermometer) to 190°C.

10. Remove four cronuts from the tray and fry until deep golden (around 4 minutes).

cronuts---heating-oil.jpg

11. With a slotted spoon, toss the cooked cronuts into a bowl of golden caster sugar. Remove to a wire rack and repeat until you have fried all of your cronuts. Eat one just to test it (they're great warm). Leave the rest to cool completely.

cronuts-in-sugar.jpg

12. Make 3 little holes in the tops of the cronuts using either scissors or a chopstick.

13. Whip the cream almost to stiff peaks, then stir the ginger syrup, lemon zest and juice into the cream. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a long thin metal piping nozzle and pipe blobs into the holes.

14. For the glaze icing, mix the lemon juice into the icing sugar. Drizzle the icing on to the top of the cronuts. Top with slivers of the ginger.

cronuts-on-plate.jpg

Our top tips for perfect cronuts:


• Keep the dough and the butter in a neat rectangle all the time when you're rolling them out. Use a long-bladed palette knife to pat the edges into shape regularly during the rolling.

• If you roll the dough out on a large sheet of baking paper you shouldn't need to add any extra flour to stop it sticking to your workbench. The baking paper will also help you easily lift the end of the dough when doing the folds.

• If you don't have a piping bag you could simply split the cronuts in half with a serrated knife and sandwich them together with the cream before icing.

• Don't waste the dough left over after cutting out all the Cronuts. Use your hands to gently push the dough together, keeping it flat on your kitchen surface, then fold it as before and roll it out just a little; return to the fridge to chill for an hour. You can then roll it out thinly, and use just like puff pastry to make a delicious tart (Emma made one topped with tomato, prosciutto, red onion, pine nuts and goats' cheese – fabulous).

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