What is a Cronut?
A Cronut is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut and is one of the new trending hybrid bakery products. We’ve enjoyed eating Cronuts in the office, but our professional curiosity took over and our technical team disappeared off to the lab to analyse a Cronut in our C-Cell Image Analysis System.
C-Cell is used in the bakery industry to analyse the internal structure and external features of baked goods. The challenge faced with analysing hybrid products is the mix of very different textures, for example in a Cronut it has a combination of flaky puff pastry and yeast batter.
The original Cronut was created by Dominique Ansel in his New York Bakery. His Cronut is a traditional ring doughnut; however it has clearly defined layers of croissant and doughnut structure. His deep fried Cronut takes a lengthy 3 days to create and a lot of sugar and butter. Since his creation the craze of hybrid products has spread across the world, with people creating their own trademarked unique interpretations on the Cronut, such as the Crodough and Greggsnut.
In the Cronut we tested, it was an arrangement of croissant pastry injected with Caramel filling like a traditional Jam doughnut.
The results show that the flaky pastry was the dominant feature of the product, making it unpredictable. This also meant that when it came to injecting the caramel filling, it was inserted into a different cavity each time, but due to the irregular way the layers form there is no definite way of knowing which cavity the filling will be sit in or how deep the cavity is.
Images 1 & 2
If Cronut’s were to become a main stream products sold within shops and supermarkets in big batches, it’s important to ensure the quality of each Cronut is the same. This can be difficult with the diverse nature of puff pastry and the challenge of combining two different products.
Images 3 & 4
Due to the laminated sheets when baking puff pastry, it’s hard to create a product that is identical every single time. The cavities between each sheet will develop and rise randomly in each bake, creating a unique structure inside. Therefore when injecting the filling on a Cronut, there is no consistency in where the filling will sit compared to a traditional Jam doughnut where the final structure is homogenous and the same each time. We can confidently say the filling in a jam doughnut will be injected and sit in the same place repeatedly.
The main question asked is what can we change to ensure Cronut’s consistency if they were to go to mass production? Will adding more laminations to the pastry reduce the depth of the cavities, decreasing the irregularity filling distribution?
*Images 1-4 are the processed images created by C-Cell. 2&4 show the internal structure – with yellow representing holes and red representing filling and/or topping.