I first discovered cruffins when I was researching places to go (mostly to eat) for my holiday in San Francisco a few years ago. One place I found was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse which makes the most wonderful pastries, their specialty being the cruffin. A cruffin is essentially a croissant shaped muffin. They're best sugar coated and filled, like a doughnut, although they are baked rather than deep-fried like their cousin: the cronut. As soon as I got home from my holiday I was determined to make my own version. Here is my recipe.
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Proving Time +1 hour
Baking Time 18-20 minutes
1 portion of Leavened yeasted dough
Bread flour for dusting
1/2 tbsp Ground cardamom
75g plus 1/2 tbsp Caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp Full-fat milk
1 Egg yolk medium
Oil for greasing (I use olive oil. You may want to use flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
1 tbsp Instant coffee powder (fine)
250ml Whipping cream
25g Icing sugar
Pecan nuts (handful, chopped) to decorate (optional)
Pizza cutter or sharp knife
Circular biscuit cutter (4.7-4.8cm diameter)
12-hole Muffin tray
2 Small bowls
Pastry brush Clingfilm
Hand or electric whisk
Piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and spatula/spoon
Take your prepared dough and place on a lightly floured worktop.
You need to roll the dough out into a rectangle measuring 64cm x 25cm.
It's best to roll outwards from the middle of the dough. Don't roll back and forth. You should also lift the dough occasionally to let it relax.
Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 14cm off the end of the dough, so it is now only 50cm long.
Using the circular biscuit cutter, cut 12 circles out of the 14cm piece of dough.
Place each circle into the bottom of the muffin tray.
Mix together the cardamom with 1/2 tbsp of sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle generously over the remaining sheet of dough.
Using the pizza cutter/sharp knife again, make 11 indentations along the length of the dough. They should be about 4cm apart.
Go back to the first, cutting in a straight line so you have a strip.
Repeat until you have 12 strips.
Roll each one up.
You'll likely find one side of the roll is flatter that the other, brush this side with a little bit of the egg wash and place, egg wash side down, on top of the circle in the muffin tray.
Repeat for the other 11 rolls.
Mix 2 tbsp of milk with the egg yolk in the small bowl to make your egg wash.
Lightly brush the top and sides with more of the egg wash.
Very carefully, place a sheet of lightly oiled clingfilm over the tray and leave to prove for at least an hour, until they have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C(Fan)/400°F/Gas mark 6.
When the oven has warmed up and the cruffins have finished proving, remove the clingfilm and pop the tray into the oven onto a middle shelf.
Bake for at least 18 minutes. They should be wonderfully golden and puffed up.
Transfer the cruffins to a wire rack when you can bear to pick them up.
Put 75g of caster sugar in a large bowl.
When they have cooled enough for you to handle, place a cruffin in the bowl and roll it around in the sugar until it's completely coated.
Return to the wire rack and repeat with the others.
You may need to top up the sugar, although I think that 75g of sugar will be more than enough.
Leave the cruffins for at least 30 minutes until they have completely cooled down.
Taking a serrated knife, you want to remove the central core of the cruffin.
Follow the spiral of the cruffin from the centre outwards with the tip of the knife, stop when you've made a complete circle.
Press the blade between the inner and outer layer of dough at this point and saw towards the centre of the cruffin.
Do not press down all the way through the cruffin, you want the base to remain intact. Your aim is to cut through the top crust.
Remove the knife and grab the middle of the cruffin with your fingers. You should find the core will come out rather easily and the hole is about as wide as your index finger.
Repeat with the other cruffins.
Now the hard job. Eat the cores, so they don't go to waste!
Add 1/2 tbsp of milk to one of the small bowls you used earlier (provided they're microwave proof, otherwise you'll need another bowl). Heat this in a microwave for 2 seconds, you just want to warm it up.
Add the instant coffee and stir until it's fully dissolved.
Wash the large bowl you used earlier for sugar coating the cruffins and dry thoroughly. Pour in the cream and dissolved coffee, followed by the icing sugar.
Whisk until the cream is firm, just past dropping consistency. Be careful not to over-whip it!
Spoon into the prepared piping bag.
Insert the nozzle into the first cruffin and fill until flush with the top.
Repeat with the other cruffins.
Clean the nozzle and go back to the first cruffin.
Pipe a star on top of the cream for decoration.
Again repeat with the other cruffins.
If you want to add even more decoration, top the centre of the cream with a couple of pieces of chopped pecans.