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So naturally, it's time for Chicago to get its own version of the cronut. Except it won't be called the cronut since Ansel has already trademarked the name. It will instead be called the "croughnut." And it won't be in Chicago. It will be in Elmhurst, at Gür Sweets Bakery.
"As soon as I read about Ansel, I was inspired to come up with my own recipe," says Rubina Hafeez, Gür Sweets' owner and pastry chef. "I do a lot of fusion," she continues, noting that since she opened her bakery last November, she's regularly offered an array of American, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian pastries. "The cronut was a combination of ethnicities, American and European. I thought, 'Why not?'"
Within a couple of weeks, she had a workable recipe. (It took Ansel two months to come up with the original.) Like the first iteration of the cronut, the first croughnuts will be filled with vanilla cream and covered with a rose-flavored glaze. But that's only for the first two weeks; after that, Hafeez will introduce a new flavor biweekly, starting with strawberry-mango.
And, like Ansel, Hafeez plans to make only a limited quantity each day.
"It takes three to four days [to make a croughnut]," she explains. "With croissant dough, you have to roll it out and relax it, roll it out and relax it, and then, before you fry it, relax it one last time. If you work quickly, the dough becomes tough, and you don't get the flaky texture."
Hafeez has never tasted a cronut. But she describes her own croughnuts as "very light. They're crispy on the outside, so you get a little crunch when you bite into them. The inside is very soft with cream filling. I fry them in canola oil. It's not heavy."
The first croughnuts will go on sale this Saturday, 6/15, at 7 AM. They will sell for $5 apiece, and customers will only be able to buy two or four at a time, Hafeez hasn't decided yet. There's no black-market activity on Craigslist at the moment, but since Gür Sweets is half an hour from downtown by car and more than an hour by public transportation, it's probably only a matter of time.