Lame Adventure 448: Anatomy of a Cronut

One year ago today, on December 29th, 2013, I started riding a spin bike. I also began eating primarily organic while practicing dietary portion control in an effort to shed the equivalent of a bowling ball and seven bananas in girth. My effort paid off. I’ve slimmed down significantly and no longer sound like a sputtering steam engine when I climb up a flight of stairs. Over the course of this holiday season, I’ve indulged, but I no longer eat like a starving hog. I consciously avoid foodstuffs that are like crack to me: cookies and chips. Muffins and bagels are not welcome on the menu anymore, either. Sandwiches and deli meat have crossed the line into edible enemy territory. My intake of red meat plummeted, as my consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains skyrocketed. I quaff much less alcohol and pump gallons more water.

Even though I have transformed myself into a disciple of health and fitness, I remain fully capable of savoring a gourmet pastry every once in a while, especially one that is almost as elusive as a winning Powerball lottery ticket: the Cronut. Ever since the Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring Street in lower Manhattan introduced this croissant-doughnut hybrid in May 2013, the eating public has been under the spell of these celebrated treats. For a while the only way to get one was to wait in a long line hours before the bakery opened at 8 am. Getting into a line at 5 am to pay $5 for a croissant crossbred with a doughnut was an act of masochism I could not bring myself to do. Ansel only bakes 350 a day so they sell out at warpspeed. Earlier this month I heard that Ansel has introduced an online lottery that happens every Monday at 11 am. I am always at The Grind at that time, so I suggested to The Boss that we do this. Elspeth gave this brainstorm her seal of approval and handed me her credit card.

The problem was that there is so much traffic on the Ansel web site, getting through borders on the impossible. All the heavily Photoshopped junk added to Kim Kardashian’s trunk had nothing on breaking the Internet when compared to ordering a Cronut online. The few times I thought I was getting through, my screen would hang or freeze and I’d get booted off the site. This was agonizing. As expected, the Cronuts were selling fast. Just when I was about to give up because Monday through Thursday’s allotment was sold out, I tried ordering two for Friday. A miracle happened and my order entered the shopping cart. But Elspeth is seldom at The Grind on Friday. I paid for the Cronuts myself and I gave my second one to my colleague, Godsend, as an early Christmas present. We had them on my last day in the office before I left for vacation.

The flavor for December was Valrhona Dark Chocolate Raspberry (with a splash of Chambord). What did it taste like? Immediate thought: the food equivalent of the most satisfying sex ever. Second thought: it’s perfectly balanced sweet and buttery layers of flaky pastry that’s simultaneously crunchy, chewy and messy. The delectable fillings, in this case chocolate and raspberry, have a tendency to spurt out. It’s best to eat a Cronut over a plate — what we did.

Suckers waiting on line for Cronuts.

Suckers waiting on line for Cronuts that might sell out before they gain entry into the bakery.

For those who order their Cronuts online, you bypass everyone waiting to buy theirs.

For those who order their Cronuts online, you have VIP status and can bypass everyone else waiting to buy theirs.

Tray of the pastry equivalent of gold bullion: Cronuts.

Tray of the pastry equivalent to gold bullion: Cronuts.

Gold tulip box containing our Cronuts.

Gold tulip box containing our Cronuts.

Voila!

Voila!

Godsend photographing the Cronuts.

Godsend photographing the Cronuts.

Godsend's Cronut shot.

Godsend’s Cronut shot.

Sideview Cronut.

Sideview Cronut.

Overhead Cronuts.

Overhead Cronuts.

Cross section Cronut.

Cross section Cronut.

Leaked raspberry Cronut filling.

Leaked raspberry Cronut filling.

I would consider enduring the torture of ordering Cronuts again online, but I am not in a hurry to do so. Since savoring my Cronut, I wondered about the calorie content. Woman’s Health Magazine reported last October that a single Cronut clocks in at a terrifying 1,330 calories with about 900 calories in fat.

Cronut nutrition facts.

Unpretty Cronut picture.

That is food for thought:

Me (thinking): Holy fried fat balls!

The sodium content alone contains enough salt to spread on a city sidewalk.  Good thing I’m riding that spin bike, but now I’m compelled to ride it to Mars.

The least pretty picture: Cronut grease stains.

The least pretty Cronut picture: grease stains.

For anyone adventurous who would like to attempt to make Cronuts at home, click here for the recipe.

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48 responses to “Lame Adventure 448: Anatomy of a Cronut

  1. Worth every calorie! Your photos are great! Wish I had one now for breakfast!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Peter says, “Don’t ask the question if you can’t stand the answer!” So I hope you looked up the nutritional information after you enjoyed the hell out of the Cronut. Like you, I rarely indulge in such delicacies, but from time-to-time, I think it’s entirely worth it! Also, I think I read somewhere that if you do indulge all at one time, your digestive system will be so overwhelmed with the fatty goodness that it won’t actually absorb all of those 1330 calories. That’s probably why you’re hungry later.

    Glad you got to enjoy what sounds like one of those rare and delicious moments in life, V. And Happy New Year!

    Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter knows his Cronuts, Cathy, or I should say his questions, or I mean when to ask questions! You can bet your bippy that that Cronut calorie question didn’t occur to me until I wrote this post. I admit that I was taken aback with the answer, but I completely enjoyed eating that Cronut. As for that ugly factoid about this tasty indulgence, it is so deep in the closet, it could be mistaken for a garment bag.

      Happy New Year to you and Peter!

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  3. *drools* That some good sh*t. I wish that we could have cronuts too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gh0stpupp3t you’ve got that right: Cronuts are VERY tasty. One day Dominique Ansel might hit on a way to make them national, if not, global. They’re a cash cow, or if you prefer, a cash Cronut.

      Like

  4. You know, some things are worth enduring hardship so they can be enjoyed. One of those each important benchmark of the year would be a great treat.

    Keep track of your spin machine distance. Each time you reach a billionth of a parsec, order a cronut.

    (fyi…1 parsec = 30,856,775,800,000,000 meters)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sure looked great in the pics despite the calory nightmare. Big Congrats on your health and fitness success this past year. I just follow the 80-20 Rule, do it all the right way 80% of the time and don’t worry about the 20%.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that Lou Rule and in general, I do live it. But this past week, Lou, when I was vacationing with my family out West, I was eating 80% more and moving primarily from the couch to the kitchen about 20% (my sister is a fantastic hostess). Fortunately, I only ate a single Cronut this month. Two of those would have been the tipping point to a third butt cheek.

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  6. So thats what they look like! I’ve stood in that line, but never made it to the front. The nutritional info softens that blow. Thanks. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t sure what one looked like, either, until I was able to score those two, Lydia. They’re as pretty as they are tasty. Waiting in that line, especially now that it’s cold and only getting colder, is more self-sacrifice than even I, a dedicated masochist, is willing to make. If you’re able to sit on your computer for a good half hour to forty-five minutes, I highly recommend trying to order them online.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had to put on a drool bib just to look at the photos (nice camera work by the way). They should give you a couple more for such a raving blog post.
    We have a lot of deep fried delicacies here in the South, but nothing comparable with the Cronut (almost sounds like it came off a rooster, don’t it?).

    Liked by 1 person

    • (almost sounds like it came off a rooster, don’t it?)

      Brilliant observation, Russell!

      Yeah, you would definitely enjoy sinking your pearly whites into a Cronut. It’s a very tasty fried concoction from a Frenchman living in the Big Apple, both gourmet and good. Not an easy feat. But people near and far (meaning even from other countries) get on that line to get one. It’s insane.

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      • He’s got the right idea by limiting the daily output. As long as it’s a major accomplishment to get one, people will continue to line up in droves. Hell, I’ll claim braggin’ rights just for knowing someone who actually ate a Cronut.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My mouth is so watering as I looked at those pictures!! Oh, I’d say sometimes you have to splurge, and plus you earned it. Good for you to lead such a healthy life. You inspire me. I’m going to eat an apple right now, but oh, how I’d love to try a Cronot! I’ve only seen some version of a Cronot at Jack in the Box, which I have passed on. I’m not wasting any calories on that. I want the real thing! It looks absolutely delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Holy sh$t that’s a lot of calories!! But boy they looked delicious. I’d have a hard time turning one down …and then the junk in my trunk would totally trump Kim K’s..no photoshop needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. V, thanks for the Cronut porn. Now I want one. Badly. There’s a gourmet grocery here that sells doughsants. (No one can use that cronut name without being sued) and I’ve not had one in more than a year. This time of year, I indulge. I don’t want to know the calorie content of my selected sundries or forbidden foods. I just go for it for a week. My jeans tell me, STOP, time to eat healthy and all that.

    Happy New Year, V and I hope you have many sweet treats throughout 2015 and I’m not talking about cronuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I doubt that there’s a second Cronut heading my way anytime soon, Brig, now that I know what I know about them. And I also know EXACTLY what you mean about one’s jeans dictating one’s diet. So, it’s back to eating healthy again and treating myself with dark chocolate by the piece (and not the fistful).

      Happy New Year to you, too, and I wish you a wonderful 2015.

      Like

  11. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a cronut. It left a similar grease ring on my napkin and was worth every calorie.

    Now you’ll have to save up your calories and fat grams for the Next Big Thing. The donnoli = doughnut + connolii.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Cronut took me to places most pastries do not nearly approach, Jackie — and that’s not a less than thinly veiled reference to The Fat Farm. It was sublime. As for this donnoli, I checked it out. It’s made with ricotta cheese, a sheep’s milk cheese lactose intolerant me can handle, but it also contains cream. That’s a death sentence for my gut. So, it looks like there’s no Donnolis in my future. But they look delicious!

      Have you had one … or more?

      Like

  12. I’m glad you entered that last health warning about cornets because I was on the verge of tears that we are on the other side of the Atlantic from them. Now I stand partially mollified, but another trip to New York is a must, I feel. But then, I feel that every time I read LameAdventures. What a great city.
    Just a note from us all to say that you’re in our thoughts this festive break. It will be a different Christmas for you all, I imagine. We have our tiles fixed either side of the window to the world in the kitchen, and we think of you and Milton and the gang often. Glad that 2014 has been a healthy year, and may 2015 bring you a year full of those small happinesses which make life great.
    Loads of love, Kate, phil, Maddie, Felix, Mac, Monty and Freddy the Shreddy (and he does).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Had I known in advance that Cronuts are the Everest of calories, Kate, I am not so sure if I would have enjoyed inhaling the one I had with the same amount of gusto. In this case, ignorance enhanced the bliss. I hope that you, Phil, the Kids and the Critters are having a lovely holiday season and maybe you’ll return to Gotham City in 2015 (bring Mac)! Martini Max and I recently dined at Bello Giardino. I always think of the Shrewsdays when I’m there.

      Like

  13. Well, maybe consider it like a weekend with the proverbial bad boy you know is too many calories and dangerous, but like you said, it was mind-blowing sex that may occasionally be worth it.Yes, holy fat balls. And congratulations on your diligence changing exercise and eating. That’s not easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rebecca. We’re on the same page about Cronuts and Bad Boys (or, in my case, Bad Girls — grrrrrrrowl!). But now, I’m back to eating moderately and healthy and riding the spin bike again at fever pitch, determined to spin off the pounds I packed on having a very holly, jolly Christmas with my family. Happy New Year, pal!

      Like

  14. Gawd, the photos made my azz spread wider! I am weeping with desire.

    Like you I am trying hard to get myself into control. I will have to look into the spin bike. Do you do this at a gym or at home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! That’s hilarious, Val! It was a VERY tasty indulgence.

      I have a spin bike in my sanctum santorum, so I am spared the humiliation of wearing spandex in public. I ride the Spinner Fit model. I bought it from Mad Dogg Athletics. It seems like they’ve discontinued that model, but it’s still available on Amazon.

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  15. Kudos to you for being such a shining example of De-flabbification! My hat is off to you. [deep bow]

    About thirty (!) years ago, I read Covert Bailey’s book “Fit or Fat” and attended a seminar where he personally weighed the participants in his “fat tank,” where you were dunked underwater to determine your fat to muscle mass ratio. I wish I could achieve that number again, but that’s another story. What he did emphasize in his book and seminars was this bit of wisdom: He said that if you took a donut (or any other highly fatty food) and rubbed it on your shirt and the grease enabled you to see through your shirt, you shouldn’t eat that food. I’m afraid I’d ruin a lot of good shirts that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “De-flabbification” — excellent one, Melissa! Thirty years ago I was all lean, too. Now, I have more in common with gristle. That Cronut would have definitely left the mark of Cain, or more likely, Wesson, on my shirt.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Holy Crap! I am savoring every buttery and crispy bite you are describing … just wish it was for real though…alas your story has me wanting that 1330 calorie treat. I would LOVE it. And I’d savor every bite. So glad you got yours before the New Year. Have a great year buddy! Thanks so much for all your encouragement throughout the year. I ended it on a great note as well…Cronut worthy even. Would have eaten five had I had the chance 🙂 Have a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year Guat! If anyone could make sense of that Cronut recipe and bake something comparable to what I ate that would be you. I wish you all great things in 2015, things worthy of a five Cronut celebration!

      Like

  17. These seem wonderful … especially for afar. Someone had to make the sacrifice to eat them, so I’m glad to see that you have the fortitude to meet the challenge. … and Happy New Year!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The cronuts were really looking good until the part with the nutrition info. It would still be worth it to try one once though.

    Like

  19. I just want one, one cronut, I’m okay with the (gulp) amount of fat and calories. After one cronut, I would stop, I would be addicted already. I’m already addicted to jelly doughnuts, always have been. Only one. After that solitary confinement, perhaps with shackles. Loved your post. Thanks.

    Like

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