Strictly & legally speaking, we're not supposed to call 'em cronuts, but that's what these are fashioned after, after all. Here's what the cross-border, cross-between-croissant-&-doughnut craze has wrought in KL beginning this week.
Folks can now stake out the new Dessert Storm pop-up bar at Ben's Independent Grocer in Publika starting 4pm, Tuesdays through Sundays, to purchase puffy-flaky, deep-fried pastries in flavors like lemon meringue, peanut butter with caramel & chocolate cheesecake.
These "KLonuts" are made to order; customers receive them fresh & hot after a 10-minute wait. Petite, slyly simple-seeming & completely calorie-clogged, with a texture evocative not merely of buttery French bread rolls but also crisp Chinese 'yu char kway' crullers.
Delicious? Definitely. Greasier than expected, but clearly crafted with care. RM7 each.
These KLonuts will likely remain available for at least several more weeks on a rotational basis, with peanut butter caramel as the signature & two new flavors every fortnight. Terrific for a teatime treat or for nibbling while window-shopping at Publika. Plated desserts are also now available at the Dessert Storm kiosk.
Also well worth checking out: Delectable By Su's version of cronuts, available this month at RM10 apiece in The Gardens Mall (sales start at noon).
Delectable's highlight might be the Malaysian-inspired coconut-kaya rendition, but the one with lemon cream & strawberry coulis, as well as another with vanilla cream, caramel & assorted-nut praline, also make for the most glorious of guilty pleasures.
Elaborately exquisite, Delectable's cronuts probably hew more closely to the New York originals, though this sticky-sweet coconut kaya flaunts triumphantly Asian flavors.
Fresh-tasting even after a few hours on the counter, offering a hefty, sink-your-teeth-into-this satisfaction. You should sensibly share this, but would you want to?
And yep, in terms of texture, it really merges the best characteristics of both the croissant & the doughnut, then throws in creamy stuffings & well-considered toppings to make the sum of every cronut even more sensational than its parts.
We'll surely see & savor more cronuts in the months ahead, but both BIG & Delectable have taken this waistline-wrecking trend to a strong start, serving distinctively different but nearly equally enjoyable interpretations.
One more for the road: No cronuts are available at Puchong's Donutes (so far), but this Malaysian offshoot of a Taiwanese chain makes up for that with its hyper-convenient, 24-hours-everyday business hours. It's like the 7-Eleven of pastry cafes.
Even at midnight, the Taiwanese 'rosong' bread (RM5.80), a smoothly dense & mildly sweet loaf, retains something akin to a morning's freshness.
Taiwanese pineapple cakes (RM3.20) come recommended. Not bad, not too shabby at all.
Dessert Storm, Ben's Independent Grocer, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Delectable Treats, LG, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur.
Donutes Bakery Malaysia, 7, Jalan Kenari 6, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Selangor.