Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Treat Yo Self: Crazy for Cronuts

One day I will tell my grandchildren about how I survived trudging through the slushy streets of New York at the break of dawn during the height of winter to get my hands on NYC's most sought after treat: 
Dominique Ansel's cronut


 January's Cronut Flavor: Caramelized Malt Valrhona Milk Chocolate with Maldon Salt

Getting a cronut is no easy feat. It takes dedication, willpower, sweat, blood. Haha okay, it's not that intense. But it's still a long, long process that will test just how badly you want to try the French love child of a croissant and a donut.

To begin with, you're forcing yourself to wake up at an ungodly hour, the specific time depending on how far you are from Dominique Ansel's bakery in SoHo. For me, that was around 6am. My alarm went off, I reluctantly rolled out of bed and bundled myself up to brave the hour long wait I was heading to. 

It's my dream and hope that one day the cronut craze will die down and that I will be able to stroll down to SoHo in the late afternoon and pick up a delicious cronut, completely hassle-free.

However, that day probably will not arrive for a long, long time and so those of us craving the confectionary genius of Dominique Ansel are left waiting on line outdoors for over an hour.

I'd definitely recommend arriving between 7 and 7:15 am, especially if it's a weekend and the weather isn't too terrible. But even when the streets of New York are lined with slush, people show up at 6:45 am to claim a spot towards the front of the line.

The way the line works is that when the bakery opens at 8 am, the bouncer (yes, this bakery has a bouncer) will let in a group of maybe 10-15 people (it depends on the amount of people waiting on line). And if you're not in that first group, you will definitely be waiting up to an extra 30-45 minutes.

So show up as early as you can- you won't regret it.

Also, I don't know what happens during the warmer months but currently, bakery workers will distribute hot chocolate and fresh madeleine cookies to the people waiting on line. 
Both of which are delicious, 10/10 would recommend.

But you're here to find out about what happens once you're inside the bakery.

First of all, relief washes over you when you're finally invited inside Dominique Ansel, and it smells heavenly. Fresh pastries are displayed in woven baskets, and the amount of gorgeously yummy desserts on display will send your head spinning.

Most people come for the cronuts, but the other desserts at Dominique Ansel are worthy of being eaten too.

One display case shows the seasonal goodies, while another displays the classic desserts that Dominique Ansel is famed for.

I can personally vouch for the Penguin- super cute, super delicious, especially if you like chocolate ganache.

Dominique Ansel is also famous for their cookie shots, pictured above to the right. Those aren't sold until 2pm, though, and I've found that it's much more difficult to convince yourself to go wait on line during the day than when you're delirious and half asleep at 6 in the morning.

Each customer can order up to 2 cronuts, which comes out to roughly $10.

The worker will package your hard earned cronuts in a nifty yellow box that you can proudly carry through the streets of New York, proof of your dedication to your tastebuds.

January's cronut flavor is Caramelized Malt Valrhona Milk Chocolate with Maldon Salt, and I liked it a lot. The frosting reminded me of October's Pumpkin Chair cronut, which I was obsessed with, and I thought the salt flakes garnishing the cronuts were a cute touch. As always, the cronuts were flaky and soft, with milk chocolate filling oozing out after every bite.

Totally worth it.

The decor at Dominique Ansel is pretty nice too, with a very French design.

The cafe area had me fervently wishing for springtime.

How do you guys feel about cronuts?

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