Take sweet pastry, deep fry it and dip in sugar, it’s a tried and tested formula that’s hard to beat, yet an array of London based outlets are trying their hand at redesigning the doughnut. From goanuts to cronuts here are five new categories of doughnut aiming for a glaze of glory.
The hipster doughnut
The invasion of Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts may leave you thinking that corporate-chain American treats are the only way to go, but London is full of cool newcomers vying for the doughnut crown. Brilliantly named new kid on the block Glazed & Confused sends its wide variety of flavoured delicacies to various cafés like Betty’s Coffee on Kingsland Road, but also delivers straight to your door. Roving stall You Doughnut offers a street-food take on doughnuts, with its little handmade treats doused in toppings and sauces (look out for it at Kerb at UCL every Wednesday). And if it’s all getting a bit cardiacky, Dum Dum Doughnuts at Shoreditch’s Boxpark bakes its snacks instead of deepfrying them, giving your poor arteries a well-deserved break.
The posh doughnut
Not all doughnuts are created equal: some have finesse and style, grace and poise. To sample the new breed of higher-standard fried treat, you can chow down on Michelin-star-worthy doughnuts at the Harwood Arms in Fulham, where the kitchen serves up golf ball-sized goodies to be dipped in apple compote and sour cream. Otherwise, queue up for St John’s mouthwatering rhubarb and custard-filled doughnuts, or head to St John alumnus Justin Gellatly’s Bread Ahead stall at Borough Market where similarly fancy, sinful sweetmeats beat any supermarket alternative.
The exotic doughnut
You don’t have to stick to the glazed American or jammy British varieties of doughnut: London is giving its deep-fried snacks a global flavour. The Ambala bakery on Brick Lane kicks out traditional Indian balushahi – that’s a crispy, sweet, doughnut-like delight that’s deep-fried in clarified butter for extra unhealthy goodness. Spanish churros are another way to go – long sticks of fried dough dusted with cinnamon and sugar and served with chocolate dipping sauce. Try Churros Garcia’s stall, which moves between Portobello Market and the Real Food Market on the South Bank.
The hybrid doughnut (the hybronut?)
Doughnuts are evolving, taking on surprising new forms before our very eyes. At the forefront of these mutations is the ubiquitous cronut, a deepfried filled croissant – and Whitechapel’s Rinkoff got there first with its wickedly flaky crodoughs. Croissants aren’t the only baked goods you can deep-fry, though. Just ask Bea’s of Bloomsbury, which makes a muffin/ doughnut hybrid, the duffin – or muffnut, as we prefer to call it.
The savoury doughnut
The Tower Hotel Brasserie has come up with a goat’s cheese-filled concoction it’s cunningly dubbed the goanut. But if you’re feeling truly adventurous,there’s only one thing for it – Mother Flipper’s cronut burger. That’s right, a hamburger inside a deep-fried croissant. They’re not on the menu, but if you bring them a cronut from a neighbouring stall at Brockley Market, they will fill it however you want. They are limiting the offer to one person a week. Your heart will thank you.
For more of London’s delicious sweet treats, visit timeout.com/food.