Chef Alina Eisenhauer's 'Dosants' Were Cronuts Before Cronuts Were Cronuts
Since the Cronut craze began, every media outlet has run a story on Dominique Ansel and his unique doughnut-croissant hybrid, including us.
But who you don't hear much about is Chef Alina Eisenhauer, who has been serving a nearly identical dessert to the Cronut — called the "Dosant" — at her Sweet Kitchen & Bar in Worcester, Mass. since 2008. And despite beating Ansel to the punch by several years, Eisenhauer is still too humble to take credit for being the inventor of the dessert, because she's sure that somebody, somewhere, has had the bright idea to deep-fry croissant dough before either of them.
We had the chance to catch up with Eisenhauer to discuss her Dosants, and how she feels about all the "dough" Ansel's been making since the recent Cronut craze. Read on to see what Eisenhauer has to say, and if you're feeling extra ambitious, check out her recipe for chocolate Dosants under the interview:
FNM: How did you come up with the Dosant? What inspired you?
I was constantly looking for creative ways to use the scrap dough that resulted from my hand-rolled croissants, and during a late night baking session, in a point near exhaustion, I joked that the best place for the scraps was the deep fryer. So, I added a sliver of chocolate before tossing it into the fryer, and after dusting with sugar, my "Dosant" was born.
The Dosants were so popular that I started making croissant dough just for the Dosants, no longer relying on scraps. And when I opened Sweet Kitchen & Bar in 2008, they were one of the first items on the menu — regulars nicknamed the treat "French Donuts."
FNM: What are your favorite Dosant fillings?
I really enjoy our classic version with a piece of chocolate in the middle, but during the fall I make a seasonal flavors, including peanut butter-filled Dosants with Concord grape coulis for dipping, which I love.
FNM: You say you’re not the inventor of the croissant/donut hybrid, despite serving these French Donuts since 2008. Why is that?
It's an educated guess … croissants and croissant dough has existed in France for hundreds of years, so I highly doubt I am the first person who ever thought to try frying it.
FNM: Do your Dosants differ from the Cronuts we’ve been hearing about lately, and how so?
The major difference is in the shape. When I first came up with Dosants, they were small and round like donut holes and have since evolved into small rectangles similar to beignets. Chef Ansel’s Cronuts are the shape of a donut with a hole in the center.
FNM: How do you feel about the Cronut craze and Dominique Ansel’s massive success?
I find it amusing that people are acting like he invented the wheel, and I think it just goes to show that if you're in the right location at the right time and get media buzz, it makes all the difference.
FNM: Why do you think Cronuts took off like crazy when Dosants were already a thing?
Dosants have been popular at my restaurant since I opened, but I am not in New York and do not have the same exposure [or] the same opportunity for food critics, food editors, etc. to walk in and discover my creations. He was at the right place at the right time and had a delicious product.
FNM: Got any other signature desserts on the horizon?
I am always playing in the kitchen and always creating. Special desserts and signature creations routinely make appearances on our menu and I always post them on social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I am just a few weeks away from moving my restaurant to a beautiful new location with a 1,600-square-foot chef's dream kitchen, so you can be sure there are lots of new things in the works.