Tur-whaaten? Steph Nash explores the modern doughnut evolution.
The sugary, all-American doughnut has received more than its fair share of attention lately.
From its humble beginnings as recurring motif on The Simpsons, to its unofficial adoption by policemen everywhere – it’s safe to say that the doughnut has withstood the test of time, and is now doing better than ever.
Culinary trends of the 21st century have pushed the boundaries of traditional foods and beverages. Heston Blumenthal came in to the public eye in the early 2000s with his scientific approach to cooking. Using a culinary method known as molecular gastronomy, Blumenthal completely revolutionised the way we think about food. Anything became possible. Ramen-burger? Sure! A cup of milk made out of a cookie? You got it!
Arguably, the best example of 21st century creativity and innovation in food can be seen in the doughnut. Its shape has shifted more than four times in the last two years, causing surge sales for pastry chefs, and soaring sugar levels for consumers. With the latest doughnut hybrid released just last month, it will be interesting to see how the pastry continues to change in 2015.
JANUARY 2013: THE CRONUT
The inventor of the cronut, Dominique Ansel, is now arguably as popular a chef as Heston Blumethal. Known by foodies and gluttons alike, Ansel’s culinary innovation jet-started his career in the food industry. In the early days, his signature cronuts were scalped on the black market for hundreds of dollars. Essentially, the cronut is a delicate croissant/doughnut hybrid. Plain and simple, but forever a favourite. Cronuts are a hot menu item in Sydney coffee shops, with Brewtown Newtown known to be one of the city’s most favoured.
AUGUST 2013: THE DOUGHSCUIT
A biscuit or a doughnut? Porque no los dos?! Pastry specialists Endgrain mixed their two signature dishes into one, creating a light, creamy and crunchy hybrid. The unique mixture is lightly fried, glazed, sliced in half and delicately filled with crème fraiche. Chefs, Enoch and Caleb Simpson, has a few varieties on sale at his restaurant in Chicago, including a very popular doughscuit filled with chocolate ganache.
APRIL 2014: THE WONUT
American dessert restaurant, Waffles Cafe, created a doughnut and waffle hybrid – another portmanteau cutely known as the wonut. What started as a modest culinary experiment is now a cult sensation, with chef Alex Hernandez currently capitalising on his 11 different flavoured wonuts. The strangest? Peppered bacon with a maple glaze. Sydney-siders can grab a selection of wonuts at Paramount Coffee Project.
DECEMBER 2014: THE DOUGHNUT TURDUCKEN
Deep in the Frankenstein labs of Chow spawned the deadly doughnut turducken. Technically, it’s an apple fritter, encased in a custard doughnut, glazed with chocolate and coated in sprinkles. It is a masterpiece for gourmet foodies, and a nightmare for diabetics. The term turducken is a grammatical portmanteau, representing a turkey double-stuffed with duck and chicken. With origins dating back to India in the 1800s, the turducken is now a common feast for families during American Thanksgiving.