Read on 'til the end for a sweet surprise...
Okay, we'll tell you now -- we're giving away a box of six of our favorite Cronuts that you can share with your friends or hoard for yourself. We won't tell anyone.
XOXO, The Juice Team
The Cronut craze is still piping hot out of the oven that everyone seems to want a slice of the action. So whose Cronut takes the cake and which ones bite the dust?
The Cronut: Chef Dominique Ansel's original creation.
None of the Juice Team
members have ever tried the trademarked Cronut from New York, so we can only dream of its wonders. But as we are not strangers to sweet inspiration we've fantasized about what that Cronut should taste like --flaky and crunchy on the outside, while soft, light and fluffy on every layer inside. It isn't cloyingly sweet; just glazed and buttery enough to put a smile on our faces, but not so much as to require a visit to the dentist. And lastly, every bite should be like clouds of happiness that erase even the thoughts of fitting into those jeans.
Now, just how close are the Cronuts offered in here in Metro Manila to fulfilling that fantasy?
Image from http//:newyork.seriouseats.com
During our arduous journey of sampling a Cronut from every place that sells them, we gathered a couple of things: first, that our stomachs aren't actually the bottomless pits we dubbed them to be, and second, that there is such a thing as heaven on earth in Cronut form. Intrigued? Here is the Juice Team's two cents on the different variations of Cronut being sold here and are readily available in the Metro!
Name: Croissant Donut
Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Dulce de Leche
Wifdflour's Croissant Donut is also known as the elusive Cronut that gets sold out after 30 minutes. They receive a fraction of the same hype that Dominique Ansel's original Cronuts get in New York -- and that's saying something. People really stop in their tracks to peek into the shop and check if there are Cronuts available. We had to visit Wildflour three times before we could get our grubby little hands on the fleeting pastry. Figures, since Wildflour was the first to board the Cronut cruise ship, but are their "Croissant Donuts" really all that?
Chocolate Croissant Donut: bavarian filling with creamy dark chocolate frosting
In our humble opinion, this pastry was way too sweet and far too oily for our liking. It was an OK Cronut, but definitely not break-the-bank good or wait-in-line-for-hours good. And you definitely cannot eat this pastry without thoughts of your weighing scale crying and blowing up. Yes, we know you don't eat Cronuts to feel healthy -- but you eat them to feel good, don't you? Well, after eating an entire Chocolate Croissant Donut, our stomachs felt like it was bitch slapped by a hoard of angry calories. So it's obvious that the taste and experience of this Cronut did not outweigh the regret we felt afterward.
Juice tip-off: If you end up in Wildflour, just skip the Cronut and go for the Salted Chocolate Cake for a sinful snack. ...
Flavors: Lemon Vanilla, Oreo, Raspberry, Chocolate
Dining at L'entrecote is certainly a welcoming experience. The staff was friendly, accommodating, and appealing. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the Cronuts.
Lemon Vanilla Cronut and Raspberry Cronut: both topped with sprinkles and filled with their respective flavor fillings
From the pictures alone, you can already tell how oily these babies are. But that could be because they're fresh from the oven -- or the frying pan, for that matter. In L'entrecote, Cronuts are not readily available; you have to pre-order them because the chef insists that they should be served and eaten fresh. Fair enough -- nothing like a little tender loving care -- but this Cronut was so greasy, John Travolta was dancing and singing in it. It was even oilier than Wildflour's, and that's saying something. Every crunchy layer was accompanied by grease (or vice versa), and the frosting and filling were overpoweringly sweet. Even though the flavors we ordered entailed tartness, it almost didn't balance with the sweetness so our palates were left with a really bad aftertaste that lingered after a while. And strangely enough, the aftertaste reminded us of Banana Q. So it was like I ate Banana Q with the texture of otap.
Juice tip-off: Maybe their Cronuts aren't to-die-for but their steak certainly is. Next time you're in the area, why not treat yourself and indulge in their French specialty: the entrecôt! ...
Name: Donut Croissant
Flavors: Apple Cinnamon and Choco Almond
Dunkin' Donuts was the third in line to get with the craze. As a company that specializes in donuts, we expected a little bit more from their very creatively titled "Donut Croissant." But then again, it completely makes sense that their version of the pastry is a lot more donut than it is croissant. But if we had to choose, we would just buy a donut.
Apple Cinnamon Donut Croissant: sweet apple filling with cinnamon and peanut topping
Go home Donut, you're drunk!
It looks pretty good and their flavors are more interesting than most that are offered, but this Cronut really fell short on taste and texture. In the picture, you can see flakiness and some hints of buttery layers, but the pastry was chewy and tasteless. The intention was there, but overall this Cronut was a dud. Stick to your donuts, Dunkin' Donuts! ...
Flavors: Wild Berry, Parmesan, Chocolate
Unlike other Cronut joints, Le Coeur de France does NOT deep fry their pastries -- they bake it. So what they sacrifice in texture, they make up for in health value (when it comes to Cronuts, anyway).
Wild Berry, Chocolate, and Parmesan Croughnuts all have that same cream filling
Unfortunately for Le Coeur de France, the texture suffered a lot. It was not crisp or flaky and the layers collapsed on one another, and at the same time the texture was doughy. So in that sense, the Cronut didn't really resemble either Croissant or Donut. You could call it the prodigal son of Cronuts: lost and confused about its purpose in life -- am I donut or am I croissant? On the up side, they made up for the texture in flavor! Not all flavors were mind blowing, but the Parmesan Croughnut really stood out. Finally, a savory version of the Cronut -- something that would cut through all the sweetness. If you've ever had an ensaymada and a tub of Chef Tony's parmesan flavored popcorn, this Cronut would be its baby. ...
Name: Japanese Cronut
Price: PhP130 for the special flavors; PhP120 for the regular flavors
Flavors: Matcha (special), Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla
This Cronut came from a Japanese Cafe so they refer to it as a Japanese Cronut, so what's the difference?
Matcha flavored Cronut has a matcha flavored bavarian filling, matcha flavored frosting, and stripes of sugar frosting
To be honest, we didn't really see any Japanese elements in this Cronut other than the fact that it's sold in a Japanese Cafe and it comes in a Matcha (green tea) flavor. But this Cronut had plenty of potential besides the fact that it was a little pocket of diabetes waiting to happen. Just like with Wildflour Cafe, our gripe with this Cronut was that it was way too sweet. If they eased up on the sugar in the frosting and didn't attack it with pipings of cream, this would've been a very strong and unique contender in the Cronut craze. On the other hand, this Cronut totally winged the texture of what a croissant-donut hybrid should be! Flaky on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside -- and it wasn't too oily at all, just to add. ...
Flavors:Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Filling, Sugar Raised with Hazelnut Filling, White Chocolate with Hazelnut Filling Combination with Vanilla, Strawberry with Vanilla Cream, and Cream Cheese with Vanilla Cream
Chatime was the second place in the Philippines to make their own version of the Cronut, and is by far the most affordable! Although they only sell it in one branch, Cronut virgins in the area who would like a quick taste of the new fad should definitely check this one out.
This Cronut was definitely more donut than croissant, but we give it points for being tasty and affordable. These are the least expensive Cronuts around, and while they were not very flaky, they had a good tender bite to them. And the frosting was flavorful -- the strawberry variant in particular packed a punch and bade well with the palate, much better than the berry flavor offered by Wildflour. They didn't have a lot of filling but that can also be a good thing because it might be a little too overkill on the sweetness. All in all, this is a good gateway Cronut for all those meaning to experience the craze because it's tasty, affordable, and not always sold out. ...
Flavors: Banana Nutella, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, Chocolate
This Cronut is not like the rest. It's a hipster sandwich.
Banana Nutella Cronut: banana and Nutella filling, mystery sauce, and sugar topping
It looks more like a sandwich than a typical Cronut because it's definitively cut in half, irregularly shaped, and is filled with more than just cream. Even if this may be considered the Quasimodo of Cronuts, don't let its outward appearance fool you, it's still a Cronut at heart. And a delicious one at that. While you can't go wrong with banana and Nutella, this one did a fine job of combining the two flavors and housing it in crisp, crunchy, and flaky disks of fried dough. They even had this mystery sauce that I could not put my finger on but completely made this dish happen. However, this is not the Cronut we expected Chef Dominique Ansel's to be -- it's too hipster, with it's very few thin layers of dough, unconventional filling, and lack of frosting -- so alas, we cannot dub this the best Cronut in the Metro! ...
Flavors: Red Velvet, White Choco, Sugar Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Cream, and Cheesecake
InterContintental jumped on the bandwagon a little late in the game, but that doesn't mean their Cronuts don't bring something to the plate. They dazzle you with many dynamic and novel flavors, but they're also the most expensive Cronut in the Metro so far.
Red Velvet Cro-Nut: white and red sugar icing, red velvet sponge cake encrusted sides, sour butter, and no filling
Just look at this sucker, he is a sight for sore eyes. The red and white decoration make it festive, coupled with the fact that the flavors and ingredients are so out of the box, this Cronut has a really nice edge above the rest. Although this Cronut didn't really taste of red velvet -- it only had a hint of chocolate flavor and there was no cream cheese since the sour butter is what added that tang. But we guess this was a spin-off of the old favorite, and it executed it perfectly in its own way. The texture was also good because it was crunchy and the layers were pronounced. This was the best Cronut we had tried until... ...
Name: MO Crodo
Flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla Custard
This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Everyone from the Juice Team got a taste of this baby, and it's unanimous: this is by far, the best Cronut in the Metro.
These Cronuts come perfectly shaped and wonderfully presented. They're heavy and substantial, and they differ from the rest by their cream filling. Instead of the usual thin layer of wimpy bavarian filling, the MO Crodo is filled with thick and luscious pastry cream that is neither too sweet or overpowering; they're just right. They impart the perfect amount of flavor and complement the crunchy dough. You can even see little flecks of vanilla bean in the vanilla custard Cronut. Now let's talk about the texture: every bite of this makes a distinctive crunch, and all of the layers fall apart in your mouth. That's when the clouds reveal the sun, the birds start chirping their songs, and everything in the world becomes right again. The journey to finding this Cronut and ingesting thousands of useless calories became worth it in the end.
We will never know how closely this Cronut actually resembles that of Chef Ansel's original recipe, but for now, the MO Crodo is Juice's pick for the best Cronut in the Metro!
So. Want to win that box of six Mo Crodos? Just follow the quick-and-easy steps rules below!