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Sweet Synthesis

Hybrid desserts transcend the cronut

Dominique Ansel’s incredibly buzzy cronut, which drew hours-long queues even in the wee hours of weekday mornings last year, was the harbinger of a trend toward food hybridization. Dessert crossbreeds are now emerging in droves across the culinary landscape. In bakeries from LA to Chicago to London, sweet-toothed patrons can indulge in creative desserts that merge two iconic food items into a doubly delicious treat.

071714-1Churro Ice Cream Sandwich: When esteemed pastry chef Sylvia Yoo set out to create a dessert hybrid all her own, she drew inspiration from her immediate surroundings on the streets of LA. Yoo combined two of the warm-weather city’s most popular street foods—churros and small-batch ice cream—and launched the new “mobile guerrilla” operation Churro Borough to sell her resultant, exclusive churro ice cream sandwiches. Though the churros draw upon traditional Spanish technique, the sandwich flavor combos are far from standard. Seasonal offerings such as panna cotta and strawberry buttermilk have motivated some to praise the sugary treat as a worthy cronut successor.

071714-2Wonut: In (seemingly) direct response to the aforementioned elite treat that popularized the donut hybrid, the chefs at Chicago’s Waffles Cafe decided to create a version that speaks directly to their waffle expertise. Thus was born the wonut, a flavored waffle that undergoes a deep-frying and subsequent glaze treatment, donut style. Per Waffles Café’s original brunch offerings, the wonut’s waffle base comes in vanilla, chocolate, and red-velvet flavors, and can be customized with a sugar, marshmallow, maple, or chocolate glaze. And in a decidedly non-French twist, even those who adhere to vegan and gluten-free diets are able indulge.

071714-3Biskie: Baking duo and sisters Annabel and Emily Lui of Cutter & Squidge in London recently one-upped the two-treat hybrid by combining three unique products into a single sweet: the biskie. As its name suggests, the biskie is a biscuit, cookie, and cake combo, which looks a bit like a macaroon but packs more of a crisp cookie bite. The pastries are served as a cookie sandwich, layered with caramel or homemade jam and filled with whipped buttercream. Elegant signature flavors such as green tea, white chocolate and raspberry, and almond-cherry are made from all-natural ingredients and without artificial flavors or coloring.