Heard about the Croughnut, the croissant/doughnut invented (and trademarked) in New York City this past year by baker Dominique Ansel? Ever tried one? For those who don’t know, the Croughnut is a doughnut-like creation made out of flaky, buttery croissant dough that is then filled with rich pastry cream. In NYC, Ansel’s is the only bakery selling croughnuts, and the line for the 300 or so croughnuts sold daily starts at 6 a.m. and can go around the block (the bakery opens at 8 a.m. and there is a two-Croughnut maximum).

If you don’t want to travel to NYC and wait in line for two hours (we sure don’t), Bay area independent pastry chef Amie Bailey’s “Fauxnut Popup” at Stag’s Lunchette on Sunday, September 8 at 9 a.m. might be just the thing.

Oakland Local snagged a couple of the Fauxnuts in advance of Sunday’s pop-up, so we could try them for you and share our impressions (tough job, but someone had to do it). Stag’s Lunchette provided two freshly-made Fauxnuts, the Double G(ougin), a Tahitian vanilla bean pastry cream filling, rolled in Tahitian vanilla-scented sugar, and the Red Hot: Bourbon pastry cream filling, rolled in what was supposed to be smoked chili sugar but was just plain sugar. (We were sad to miss the Creamscicle: a clementine/orange pastry cream filling, rolled in vanilla-scented sugar, but hey, two Fauxnuts and no line sounds great.)

At home, we rolled these babies out on a plate and took a look. Like the Ansel croughnuts, they’re golden-brown, flakey cakes, twice as high as a regular doughnut, but a similar width, and split so they can be stuffed full with pastry cream.

The dough is deep-fried, then cut open and stuffed, then rolled in sugar. Like the popular Kouign Amman pastries from Starter Bakery, the Fauxnuts are flavorful butter bombs, but they have a flakier consistency.

So how did our tasting go?

My two eager fellow tasters, my dear Very Special Person and my hungry housemate, were impressed with the height and color of the pastries, and attracted by the yummy-looking custard fillings. We cut the Fauxnuts into thirds, and dug in, starting with dainty nibbles, and ending with licking up the crumbs.

VSP (has a moderate sweet tooth): “These are amazing! I especially like this one (Double G(ougin)) — it’s a little less sugary than the bourbon pastry cream one.”

Housemate (has a big sweet tooth): “Wow, these are really good! Where did you get them? When can we get more?”

VSP: “Kind of reminds me of the inside of a morning bun, only with custard.”

Housemate: “I’m glad I stayed home for this. I love the buttery flavor and the flaky consistency. Can I have that last piece?”

If you want to try East Bay Fauxnuts, Stag’s lunchette is opening up on Sunday, September 8 at 9 a.m. and selling their Fauxnuts ’til they’re gone. $6 each, 2 Fauxnut max.

Stag’s Lunchette
362 17th Street in Oakland
(510) 865-STAG

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including Salon.com, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

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