Remember when dessert used to be the easiest part of your meal? You either wanted something sweet after dinner or you didn't. That was all you had to worry about.
Those days, it seems, are gone forever, and you have the Cronut to thank for it. Chef Dominique Ansel's freakish experiment that fused a doughnut with a croissant, which inexplicably turned into a sensation the likes of which people still line up for at six in the morning to get, set up what the New York Times called,"The race to invent the next big thing in hybrid desserts," saying that the rush to come up with the new combination dessert was "fierce." Creations such as San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmers Market "scuffin" (a scone and a muffin) and the pie milkshake at Hill Country Chicken made 2014 look like an arms race to see who could splice together the weirdest sweets for post-Cronut dessert domination.
"Bullshit," one pastry chef at a popular Manhattan restaurant told me. The chef asked not to be named because his boss is "obsessed" with coming up with an in-house fusion dessert to call their own, but believes "the whole thing will be over in a year. But points out that cooks will still get "stoned and try to come up with weird creations when they're hungry."
One might think that the anonymous pastry chef might have the best view of things from behind the kitchen doors, but from the other side, it doesn't look like the hybrid dessert trend is going away anytime soon. Martha Stewart presented "Beyond the Cronut: 15 Frankenpastries to Make at Home," including the "Brookie" (cookie and a brownie) and croissant pudding, and Dunkin' Donuts even began offering up a "croissant donut" of their own, sans the clever name since Ansel owns the trademark to his famous pastry. While the unknown chef might be right that fusion desserts are indeed a trend, it might be a long time until we can say, "Let's just grab some ice cream or some cookies." The cronut and its spawn will unfortunately stick around for a while. "I hope not," the chef says when I tell him my opinion. "I really hope not."
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