London Bakery Serves Up the Answer to the Cronut
London’s Answer to the Cronut What’s a baker to do when all foodies can talk about, on both sides of the Atlantic, is the cronut craze? Simple. Come up with an equally addictive hybrid dessert.
Inspired by the increasing appetite for “mash-up” desserts, fusing two calorie and fat-filled items into one, Britain’s Evening Standard newspaper tasked food writer and blogger Victoria Stewart with commissioning a winning dessert combination to rival the cronut.
“We were keen to get something new as we always try to move the story on a bit,” says Stewart. American baker Bea Vo was chosen for her background in hybrid desserts.
Vo, opened her Bea’s Bakery in London three years ago, and was already known by customers for her “duffin,” a cake doughnut filled with jam, which she created a few years ago. With a loyal following for her inventive desserts, Vo was given a list of experimental fusion foods to whip up for the Standard.
“One of them was the muffle, a muffin and waffle. We did make one, but the fruit caramelized too quickly. The trick to fusion desserts is to bring out the best of both,” which is why Vo’s invention, the “townie” has been a huge success. The brownie-tartlet has a gooey center and a crisp outer shell.
“I immediately saw it and thought, why hasn’t anyone done that before?” Vo explains, the fact that brownie dough isn’t very wet prevents the shell from getting soggy, and also allows for under-baking the brownie to give the center that highly sought after gooey-ness.
But while Vo knew it would work, she didn’t expect to sell more than a few dozen. Instead, she sold 800 in ten days, and garnered attention from US TV networks. “This is one of those unusual things that really had its own life.”
Vo is no longer alone in her quest for a calorie-filled craving-maker. British bakery chain Gregg’s launched the “Greggnut," a cheap, and pretty poor imitation of the original cronut, and Aubaine, and upscale French restaurant has come up with the “Crobaine,” in cinnamon sugar and Nutella flavors.