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Cronuts are oh-so-cool right now. One bite into the fluffy pastry, and it’s easy to see why. In this recipe, the rich fusion of croissant and doughnut is beautifully balanced by the mascarpone and raspberry filling. It’s a labour of love, but well worth the effort.
non-stick cooking spray, for greasing
rice bran oil, for shallow frying
Driscoll’s raspberries, to decorate
3 1/ 2 cups (525g) bread flour, plus extra for dusting 65g caster sugar
11g dried yeast
1 cup (250ml) cold water 125g unsalted butter, cubed & softened
30g egg white 20ml heavy cream
Butter block 250g unsalted butter, softened
100g unsalted butter
1/ 4 cup (60ml) water
2 tablespoons homemade raspberry jam
2 cups (320g) icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon cream
1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
1/ 2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250g homemade raspberry jam
1/ 4 cup (60ml) honey
250g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
To prepare pastry dough, place flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine. Add the remaining ingredients. Fit the dough hook and mix for 3 minutes, or until just combined.
Lightly grease a medium bowl and place dough inside. Cover surface of the dough with plastic wrap, to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside in a warm place to prove for 2–3 hours, until doubled in size.
Knock down dough, folding the edges into the centre, releasing as much of the gas as possible. Place dough on a sheet of baking paper and shape into a 25cm square. Transfer dough on the baking paper onto a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4–6 hours, or overnight.
To prepare butter block, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper with a pencil and flip so marked side is turned down. Place butter in the centre of the square and using a spatula spread it evenly to fill the square. Refrigerate 4–6 hours, or overnight.
To laminate dough, remove butter from the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until soft enough to bend slightly without cracking. If still too firm, lightly beat with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface until it becomes pliable. Shape back to original 18cm square after working it.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out to a 25.5cm square approximately 2.5cm thick. Place butter block rotated 45 degrees in the centre of the dough, so it looks like a diamond in the centre of the square. The corners of butter block will face the centre of the dough sides. Pull corners of the dough up and over to the centre of the butter block and pinch seams together to seal butter inside. You should have a square slightly larger than the butter block.
Very lightly dust the work surface with flour (use as little flour as possible) to ensure the dough doesn't stick. With a rolling pin, using steady, even pressure, roll out the dough from the centre to make a 45cm square approximately 6mm thick. Fold the dough in half horizontally, lining up the edges to make a rectangle. Fold dough vertically, to make a 22.5cm square of dough with four layers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll dough out again to a 45cm square and fold twice as above. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to a 30cm square approximately 1.5cm thick. Transfer the dough to a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Using a 7.5cm round cookie cutter, cut nine rounds. Using a 2.5cm round cookie cutter cut out the centre of each, to create the doughnut shape.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper and lightly dust with flour.
Place the cronut pastries, spacing them about 8cm apart, onto the prepared tray. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray and lay it on top of the pastries. Set aside to prove in a warm spot for 2 hours, or until tripled. (It's best to prove cronuts in a warm, humid place. But do not place pastries on top of the oven or near another direct source of heat as the butter will melt.
Pour enough oil into a large heavy-based saucepan to fill 5cm deep and set over medium heat until it reaches 175°C. Use a deep-frying thermometer to verify the right temperature.
Fry cronuts a few at a time for 1–1 1/ 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and set on paper towel to drain. Re-check oil temperature between each batch before frying. Stand aside to cool completely.
To prepare glaze, heat water, butter and jam together in a medium saucepan set over low heat, until butter and jam have melted. Add icing sugar, cream, vanilla and salt, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare cinnamon sugar, mixture sugar and cinnamon together in a wide based bowl and set aside.
To prepare filling, melt raspberry jam and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside. Place honey in a small saucepan set over medium heat and boil for 30 seconds. Add to strained jam and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Place mascarpone in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer, until smooth. Add cooled jam mixture and beat to combine. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Taking one cronut in your hand with flat side facing up, inject filling into four evenly spaced spots. As you pipe the mascarpone, you should feel the pastry getting heavier in your hand.
Roll in cinnamon sugar, to coat.
If the glaze has cooled, microwave it for a few seconds to warm until soft. Glaze cronuts and decorate with a raspberry. Stand aside for 15 minutes, or until glaze sets slightly.