Just in case doughnuts and croissants aren’t delicious enough in their own right, these two much-loved treats have recently been brought together to create delicious Frankenstein-like offspring: the Cronut. Taking NYC by storm and inciting fans to line up down the street at Dominique Ansel Bakery (where they originated in May this year), they’re also popping up at other bakeries keen to join the fray, with Ansel recently placing a trademark on the name.
In Sydney, we’re lucky enough to have our very own Willy Wonka applying his skills to the trend, with Adriano Zumbo turning out Zonuts and stamping them with his own unique, sweet flair.
“I first came across them on Twitter,” says Zumbo before he heads into his Rozelle kitchen to finish a batch. “I got sent a few tweets saying ‘you should make these’, I was thinking ‘what the hell is a Cronut?’ So I looked it up, thought about it for a while and then just gave it a go.”
The result is a deliciously crunchy and flaky doughnut-shaped snack, made with several layers of pastry, deep-fried in small batches, rolled in sugar, piped full of a custard filling, then topped with a doughnut glaze and finished with nuts, or whatever other touches befit Zumbo’s current flavour combinations.
“You have to do your research first… But in the end you just make it your own way, to make it what you think it should be. I’d never tried one before, so I just worked towards what I thought would be good.”
Ever the inventor, Zumbo, has continued to perfect the recipe to get his Zonuts as light and flaky as possible and to come up with new flavour combinations for fans to try. He also points out that he never wanted to replicate the Cronut, but simply to create his own version.
“Every week, we do two flavours and we change them. So far we’ve had apple crumble, chocolate, popcorn, mango sticky rice, piña colada and strawberries and cream…” But those are just the flavours he can think of off the top of his head. It’s no secret that when it comes to predicting sweet trends Zumbo has something of a gift – from V8 cakes to macarons. So just how does he pick a winner?
“You have to see what you think will be popular. I looked at [Cronuts] and just thought ‘that sounds good to me’. They’re not queuing up [in New York] for nothing, so I just gave it a go. I guess at that time the media was taking on that sort of craze over there, and it was just a bit of potluck that we jumped in the middle of it.”
Potluck or not, Zumbo’s Zonuts are selling out daily from his outlets at Rozelle and The Star.
“I guess we have a bit of a reputation of our own now,” he says. “You have your loyal fans, but you know I just think everyone wanted to try them, and if you can get people to come back for another one, well that’s even better.”
Zonuts are available at Adriano Zumbo outlets at Rozelle and The Star.