Following the publication of my ‘London Cronut Guide’ (republished in abbreviated form by the London Evening Standard), I was contacted by PR & Marketing of Aubaine, the French Restaurant group with news that they were preparing to launch their own cronut.
Unlike the other restaurants who have called their interpretation of the ‘pastry-de-jour’ a ‘crodo’, ‘dosant’ or ‘cro-dough’, Aubaine keeps the original name and proudly simply announces their creation as the “CRONUT BY AUBAINE”
CRONUT BY AUBAINE : MUST BE TASTED!
“The Cronut is a very particular and tasty mix between a croissant and a doughnut – It is born in New York City few months ago, and since then people can’t stop talking about this treat, queuing, ordering and dozens on line. We heard people asking the same question again and again : ”Where can we find Cronut in London? That’s why the Aubaine team decided to introduce it to Londoners craving from this american delicacy ! And from what I have tasted so far, it is heaven in mouth!”
Source: Aubaine Blog (taken 11-Sep-2013)
Unlike the effort from bargain baker Greggs, these cronuts are obviously a lot more ‘croissant-pastry’ than ‘doughnut-dough’ in appearance. They are medium sized, smaller than the decadent cro-dough from Rinkoff’s Bakery, but larger than the ornate Cocomaya cro-dough.
The layer of sweet chocolate on the “Nutella” cronut is nicely thick and the “Cinnamon Sugar” cronut is generously covered in a sugared crust.
This cronut has the same texture as the surface of a well baked croissant. Just tapping a knife against the crust causes thin crisp pieces of pastry to flake and fly off. There is very little ‘give’ on the outside at all. In fact, this is the most crisp of all the cronuts I’ve tried.
OILINESS, LAYERS & FILLING
Slicing this cronut, I found these pastries noticeably to be a lot more oily than any of the others I’ve sampled. Even as I began to press the knife down on the them, you could see oil oozing out from between the layers. Maybe the downside of using very fine layered pastry is that that it soaks up oil like a sponge (Any master bakers out there care to comment?).
Even before you slice it in half you can see lots of layers, Aubaine seems to use a very finely laminated pastry. The layers are very reminiscent a Greek Baklava (made with filo). Cutting the cronut into two pieces reveals many layers, not as many as one would expect from the appearance on the outside, but still very impressive.
One very obvious difference between this cronut and the other London copies is the lack of a filling. Most of the other London cronuts have been cut lengthways and filled with lemon curd, cream or a jam layer. I didn’t miss it as it was quite pleasant without a sweet filling.
The flavour of the toppings comes through very nicely without being overpowering. The texture is like an extra crisp croissant with a lot of crunch, a doughnut like flavour but finishes a little on the oily side. However, remember that Doughnuts were originally named “Oily Cakes” by the Dutch who enjoyed them for exactly that reason.
This is a fantastic effort to produce a nice crispy croissant pastry with the doughnut style finish. Good taste with an interesting combo of crispy and oily. The downside is that it is a little too far in the direction of a croissant. As expected from a restaurant like Aubaine, this is in a different completely different league to the last effort I tried from Greggs. However the excessive oil content makes it a little heavy and (surprisingly) there is no filling in the middle.
If you’re passing any of the Aubaine venues, it’s well worth trying, especially if you’re taking away as they come wrapped in a box of cake-related-poetry!
Let me know your thoughts!
NOTE: Many thanks to the Aubaine PR & Marketing team for the their box of cronut samples!