- List Of Ingredients
- For the puff pastry (yeasted dough) and for frying and decoration:
- 500g (1lb 2oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 200ml (7fl oz) milk
- 70g (2¼oz) caster sugar
- 30g (1oz) fresh yeast
- 1 egg
- 30g (1oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 litres (3½ pints) flavourless vegetable oil, for frying
- Poured fondant or glacé icing
- Milk chocolate shavings
- For the puff pastry (beurrage):
- 400g (14oz) unsalted butter
- 120g (4¼oz) plain flour
- For the caramelized hazelnuts:
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 300g (10oz) blanched hazelnuts
- 180ml (6fl oz) flavourless vegetable oil
- Sea salt flakes, to taste
- For the hazelnut cream:
- 65g (2¼oz) caster sugar
- 3 small egg yolks
- 25g (scant 1oz) vanilla blancmange mix
- ½ vanilla pod
- 250ml (9fl oz) milk
- 250g (9oz) hazelnut praline paste (60% hazelnut)
- 8cm (3in) round doughnut cutter, or 4cm (1½in) and 8cm (3in) round cutters
- Kitchen thermometer (optional)
- Piping bag with filler nozzle or medium round nozzle
- Makes about 10
- Preparation time: 70 mins + 3 hrs resting + 40 mins frying + chilling
1. Prepare the yeasted dough and beurrage for the cronuts, and leave to prove or chill, as appropriate.
2. Meanwhile, get a large piece of baking parchment ready for the caramelized hazelnuts. Boil the sugar and 200ml (7fl oz) of water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Warm a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat, add the hazelnuts and shake the pan until the nuts are golden brown. Add the sugar syrup to the nuts and heat while continuously agitating the pan, until the sugar has become more viscous but has not yet darkened in colour. Add the oil so the nuts are swimming in it and continue to cook the nuts while agitating the pan until they have caramelized to a golden brown. Pour the nuts into a fine sieve and let them drain briefly before immediately spreading them out on the prepared baking parchment and using a spoon to separate them from each other. Leave the nuts to cool. If you like, you can also sprinkle 1–2 pinches of sea salt flakes over the still-warm nuts.
3. To make the hazelnut cream, stir one-third of the sugar with the egg yolks and vanilla blancmange mix in a bowl. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Add the vanilla seeds and pod to the milk and the remaining sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove the vanilla pod and pour the hot milk over the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time with a balloon whisk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and return briefly to the boil to thicken. Then transfer immediately to a cold container and leave to cool, covered with cling film.
4. Combine the praline paste and the cream mixture in a bowl by stirring thoroughly with the balloon whisk. Put half the caramelized hazelnuts into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin or saucepan, use the remaining whole nuts for decoration. Mix the crushed nuts into the cream, cover, and refrigerate until ready for use.
5. Continue the next steps for the yeasted dough and the beurrage: namely rolling out, folding together (single and double folds), and chilling as specified. Then roll out the dough to form a 3–4cm (1¼–1½in) thick sheet and use the cutter or cutters to stamp out rings. Turn the rings over, cover, and leave to rest for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
6. Meanwhile, heat the oil for frying in a high-sided pan to 180°C (350°F), and keep the temperature stable. Use a kitchen thermometer, or hold a wooden spoon handle in the oil: the oil is hot enough when tiny bubbles rise up it. Cook the dough rings carefully, in batches, in the hot oil for 4 minutes on both sides until golden brown, turning with a slotted spoon. Remove with a slotted spoon, let them drain, and lay them on kitchen paper to blot off the oil.
7. To assemble, either pipe in the cream using a piping bag fitted with a filler nozzle, or slice the cronuts in half horizontally and pipe some of the hazelnut cream onto the lower half of each ring using a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle before replacing the upper section. If you like you can ice the cronuts with poured fondant or glacé icing (which should be at a lukewarm temperature). Decorate with a few caramelized hazelnuts and milk chocolate shavings.