December 08, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

A Mouthwatering Creation: A Tasty Lebanese Cronut (Discontinued)

On June 3rd, NoGarlicNoOnions published the news about the Cronut... Which didn't take long to be introduced in Lebanon, first by Casper&Gambini's followed by The Four Seasons and La Cigale. On October 4th while going for lunch at Tavolina, my phone rang: "We, at The Four Seasons have a package for you. Can we meet you for immediate delivery?" I received a beautiful black box that included two round shaped pastries that made my heart beat from joy. It was the Cronut - The Cronut that has revolutionized the world in 2013.

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I was so excited to taste the Lebanese version of the Cronut... Unfortunately, the experience was not as I had anticipated. I was shocked to know that Chef Charles Azar was the one who created it and was sure that this is not the quality he will accept offering. Yesterday, I decided to give the Cronut at The Four Seasons an in-house try. And here is when I was truly amazed: "A beautiful mouthwatering heavenly creation that's worth a trophy".

The Cronut: CRONUT= Croissant + Doughnuts. A hundred layers of fine pastry sheets one on top of the other. It looks appealing, calling out for you to come take a bite and taste its essence. The Cronut is the unique pastry creation by Chef Dominique Ansel that many have described to be a croissant-doughnut hybrid. After its launch on May 10, 2013, Cronut fans spanned the world from Berlin to Singapore, making it the most virally talked about dessert item in history.

Made with a laminated dough which has been linked to a croissant, the Cronut is first proofed and then fried in grape-seed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut is flavored in three ways: 1. rolled in sugar; 2. filled with cream; and 3. topped with glaze. Cronuts are made fresh daily, and completely done in house.

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I may not have tried the original one, but I can safely describe the points I liked and disliked here… and I truly believe that this innovation taking the world by storm is truly something extraordinary. My description of The Four Seasons Cronut:

  • A round circular shaped pastry, empty from the inside exactly like a donut
  • Dozens of puff pastry layers, one over the other looking like a mille feuille
  • A little white glaze on top is so thin adding just the needed sweetness,  although it's not classy to look at
  • As for the chocolate one, a dark thin chocolate line decorating it is not the best of first impression you would expect
  • Thick, standing in style with its beautiful golden color, this creation looks neat
  • The cream is well hidden inside without anything dripping out
  • A soft finish with no oily spots
  • A mouthwatering yet intriguing creation that makes you want to try it at any cost

Tasting The Four Seasons Cronut:

  • As your teeth plunge into this round creation, a journey of delicacy starts
  • A feel of sweetness explodes while the white glazing touches your lips followed by a thin transparent crust that adds this nice crunchy feel
  • Below are distinct layers of puff pastry, layered meticulously one on top of the other
  • Each layer is unique and cooked adequately without sticking to one another
  • The overall creation is really majestic with its soft inside that melts under your teeth like butter
  • Inside, on the lower part, is a rich filling of pastry cream that's adequately sweet and pleasantly enjoyable
  • The mix of cream and pastry dough is a combination to enjoy in style
  • The chocolate version is even better than the vanilla one. The cocoa feeling and chocolate taste add even more style
  • The activation of all your taste buds is guaranteed
  • All of the above experience for only $5/piece

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The few missing details:

  • This version of the Cronut definitely needs some sugar coating to make it perfect which I believe will make it identical to Dominique Ansel's original one. Yes indeed, this creation is unique of its kind.
  • I would change this thin cheap black chocolate line. It really diminishes the Cronut's class and replace it by a thick homogenous chocolate cream circle

Special Notes:

  • Enjoy Cronuts immediately as they have a short shelf life
  • If you decide to cut it, use a serrated knife so as not to crush the layers
  • Never refrigerate these treats as the humidity from the refrigerator will cause them to because stale and soggy. 
  • Since Cronuts are filled with cream, do not serve them warm or hot.
  • For only 5$, this cronut is way better with a better value than the Casper's 7,5$ one

What I learned today is that you have to taste things in-house before judging. Served fresh, the experience will definitely be different. This Cronut is a must. Head down to The Four Seasons cafe after 3pm and enjoy the Cronut on display alongside a chocolate buffet, with over  20 different varieties prepared according to season, set up every Friday to Sunday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm for your pleasure.

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