Just over a week ago, I was alerted to a new cronut copy on the market by @Wilkes888. Aubaine (@Aubaine_UK) is a collection of restaurants/cafes in some of the posher parts of West London and serves up modern French fare all day. I’ve yet to try it out (although the food I did see on a later visit looked quite tasty) but more the point I was here for their cro-dough. In short, the cro-dough is rich and flaky, comes in two tasty flavours, and represents good value for money which puts it in a solid 3rd place in the London offerings.
The back story (and disclaimer)
Sadly, despite checking with Aubaine PR on twitter, the cro-doughs weren’t ready when I rocked up at 7.30am on the Friday launch day. I was a bit disappointed but the Pastry Chef Sebastian promised to give me a call once they were ready and hold one for me if I wanted. Although I had to head off to work (after stopping by Rinkoff Bakery for a Apple Crumble cro-dough), Aubaine PR got in touch and generously offered a free sample box which I picked up the next day. So as a disclaimer, I didn’t pay for the cro-doughs but will endeavor to offer as unbiased an opinion as possible regardless.
Let’s talk cro-dough
Aubaine has two flavours of cro-dough on offer: nutella and cinnamon. Both feature the same cro-dough pastry with the nutella boasting a generous piped topping of hazelnut chocolate goodness while the cinnamon one has been tossed in a heavy coating of cinnamon sugar.
The cro-dough itself is fairly large and roughly the size of a flattened softball. It has sharply defined layers (a good sign of a well made laminated pastry) that peel apart with gentle pressure. It has a rich butter taste and is slightly oily to the point it leaves a sheen on your fingers but not so much that it becomes greasy. Toppings-wise, although I love the flavor of Aubaine’s nutella, it’s a messy proposition with the hot cro-dough causing the nutella to melt and smear. It’s good fun to eat – just make sure to have a napkin on hand to clean up! The cinnamon sugar is more evenly distributed which does tip the scales slightly in its favour when I took a straw poll among my friends.
Ah, worth noting that the cro-doughs are only available starting around 8.30-9am each day as the kitchen starts up at 7 and it takes at least an hour to warm up the oil and do the final fry for the cro-doughs.
The Aubaine cro-dough retails for £2.50 if you take it to go or £3.50 if you choose to eat in.
At that price point, Aubaine is in the middle of the pack as far as value for money with it being on par with Rinkoff and a far cry from the £4.50 charged by Cocomaya. Taste-wise, I’d put it at number 3 behind Rinkoff and Cocomaya as well so all in all you’ve got a pretty solid option here. If they can reduce the oil just a little bit, it would be a winner that could challenge Rinkoff for the London Cronut Crown as the nutella flavor is just delicious!