Billed as “The desirable dessert from New York” the Woody Baker (named after the NYC icon Woody Allen perhaps??) in Shanghai has an array of Cronuts to nosh on. I had heard so much about this hot craze in New York where people stand in line for hours just to get these type of pastries so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see how Shanghai interpreted the famous Cronut.
Two levels of croissant-like pastry with cream custard piped between and on top. Awkward at best to eat by hand, I used a knife and fork to cut bites for the family to taste. I tried cutting it with just a fork and it was too dense so the knife was needed. Unlike the donut or croissant that you could walk and eat on the street, if you try that with a Cronut, you will have custard sliding down your chest in no time as you try to rip it apart with your teeth. NOT. PRETTY. They didn’t give out forks (or chopsticks-now, that would be a challenge!) with it so I am thinking that you are supposed to eat by hand. NO WAY! Since there wasn’t chocolate involved (but you can get those), James thought it was just “okay” and he went back to reading his book. His favorite dessert is brownies so Cronuts are definitely not his thing.
Now, the Chinese culture doesn’t really embrace sweet desserts. Fruit is the favored meal ender here so judging by the lack of crowds at Woody Baker on a busy Saturday, I’m not sure building a bakery on one type of pastry is a sound business model. It was just me and a Brit dude forking over the RMB.
And starting at 18 RMB ($3US) and going up to 26, these desserts are not cheap. The average Chinese citizen would never pay that much. Westerners like us are the target audience for sure. Located in the Xintiendi area (think Manhattan of Shanghai), perhaps they can find enough laowais to stay busy baking.
Thom tasted it and pronounced it “cannoli with a hint of donut” vs. croissant like. The flavors offered are: white chocolate pastiche, white chocolate Oreo, chocolate almond, banana special, fresh blueberry, coco cream and the original. Lots of variety if you want a tasty, very messy, cannoli-like, donut shaped treat. New York or Shanghai–the Cronut Craze has gone worldwide!