Tag Archives: doughnuts

A Cronut™ by any other name…

29 Aug
The Breakfast (top) and Kaya (bottom) KLonuts

The Breakfast (top) and Kaya (bottom) KLonuts

Malaysians love trendy things, and food, so it’s no surprise that cronuts have debuted here, under the non-trademarked name KLonut, which is a play on the city of origin (Kuala Lumpur) and not Asian pronunciation. They’re available at the equally punnily named Dessert Storm. I’d had my eye on them for a while, and then a college friend came for a visit and gave me my excuse to try them out. Their signature flavor is peanut butter and caramel, but I went with the more “localized” flavors of the week, The Breakfast and the Kaya. I mean, why get a normal cronut when you can get something Malaysian? The Breakfast was filled with Milo-flavored custard and topped with condensed milk and bits of Milo cereal — Malaysia’s version of Cocoa Krispies — while the Kaya was filled with a coconut custard.

So, are cronuts/KLonuts/doissants worth queuing up for, as they do in New York and London? (And have I been living in Malaysia too long, now that I’m saying “queue” instead of “line”?) Now that I have a baby in tow, I’m going to say no, as there is no foodstuff I’m willing to wait for with a potentially cranky infant, even dim sum at Tim Ho Wan’s. Luckily, there was no such crowd at Dessert Storm. We tasted The Breakfast first.

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6 Feb

Malasadas, plain and cinnamon

When I go back to Honolulu, I try to find an excuse to get malasadas. Malasadas are Hawaii’s (by way of Portugal) answer to pączki (pronounced poonchki, for the Polish-challenged), except that you can get them year-round, and not just the day before Lent. And they’re not filled. And they’re more doughy than cake-y. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that they’re like beignets. Basically, malasadas are doughnuts, but better, because the texture is more like bread; imagine a sweet roll that’s been fried. Doesn’t that sound tasty? In fact, I encourage readers with a fryer in the kitchen to test that out.

The problem with malasadas is that you have to eat them fresh; even an hour or two can be detrimental. Some of the best malasadas I’ve had were at school carnivals, where you could get your malasada fried before your eyes. Opinions vary on the best malasadas in Honolulu, but I usually go to Leonard’s. I’d like to say it’s because of their long history (they’ve been around since 1953, and they’ve got the neon sign — and the staff — to prove it), but really, it’s because they’re only 10 minutes from my parents, so I can drive down, get a box, and drive back before they get cold. In recent years they’ve started bastardizing the malasada with fillings, but honestly, I prefer the traditional ball-of-dough version.

In case you don’t have a Portuguese bakery in your neighborhood, here’s a recipe. Or you can try frying some cinnamon rolls. (Admit it, you’re not using that Fry Daddy for anything else, are you?)

Time to Eat the Doughnuts

9 Nov

J. Co is Indonesia’s answer to DuDo’s, offering delicious doughnuts and coffee with a uniquely Southeast Asian twist, which apparently means flavoring lots of things with avocado. (I actually don’t know if their coffee is any good, but I do know they have a avocado latte.)

Clockwise, from top left: Avocado DiCaprio, Kaya, Cheese Me Up, Mango Blitz, Miss Green T, Oreo

I got an assortment of the most intriguing flavors, including — yes — a cheese doughnut. (They also had cheese with chicken sausage, but there are some lines I just won’t cross.) First, a word about the doughnut “base” itself. I’m not usually a fan of store-bought doughnuts, because unless you’re lucky enough to be there at the moment they’re fried, they tend to be kind of soggy and greasy, and I really don’t like the hard frosting. Not with J. Co. I don’t think they’re fried at all, and they’re very light and fluffy, sort of like Krispy Kremes without all that glaze. The frosting had an appealingly soft texture, kind of like fresh royal icing.

Bafflingly, J. Co claims that their products are healthy. You know, antioxidants in the avocado frosting, and all that. And the cheese is from New Zealand, so it must be good for you! Here’s a play-by-play on these delicious, “nutritious” treats.

Avocado DiCaprio: Despite the violently green color of the frosting, it doesn’t taste much of avocado…until you get to the creamy center. If you’re the kind of weirdo who orders avocado bubble tea, or has made chocolate avocado frosting for a raw diet, you know that avocado and sweet is actually a pretty good combo.

Kaya: Kaya is a traditional Malaysian coconut spread, made by cooking coconut, sugar, and eggs into a kind of curd. The yellow blob in the middle of this doughnut tasted like coconut, but not much like kaya. Not what I expected.

Cheese Me Up: Yes, it really does taste like cheese. Processed cheese, to be exact. Like if you turned that “Gouda-flavored cheese food spread” into a goopy glaze. Not unpleasant, but not compelling enough to merit a second order. Maybe if it had chicken sausage on it?

Mango Blitz: Delicious! Light mango glaze with a whipped cream filling. The best part is that the glaze really tastes like mango, not mango jam or, as it usually is with fruit doughnuts, sugar.

Miss Green T: My favorite, if only because it’s green-tea-flavored. Surprisingly intense green tea flavor in the frosting. I wonder if the slimming properties of green tea outweigh the effects of eating doughnuts?

Oreo: It’s a doughnut covered in frosting with dark chocolate cookie crumbles. Not exactly a challenging flavor, but the crunch factor is good.

So the next time you’re swinging through Jakarta, KL, or Singapore, don’t forget to grab a dozen or so for the office. I’m sure people would love the cheese flavor.