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The craziest pastries from Netflix’s ‘Tuca & Bertie’

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Crunts (cruller + bundt cake) are just one of the wacky new pastry creations on illustrator Lisa Hanawalt’s new Netflix series, “Tuca & Bertie.”
(Lisa Hanawalt)

In the first episode of illustrator Lisa Hanawalt’s new Netflix series, “Tuca & Bertie,” Bertie winds up at Patisserie du Pastry Pete, where the owner is famous for his “crunts,” a wacky pastry marrying crullers and bundt cake.

Crunts, a send-up of the chef Dominque Ansel’s Cronuts, are just one of several pastry creations that Hanawalt and her show designer Alison Dubois came up with for the show.

Lisa Hanawalt and Patricia Escárcega talk food, mentors, and ‘Tuca & Bertie’ »

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I’ve devised recipes to bring two of them to life: the crunt and the choquetti.

You can make crunts at home by baking a simple choux pastry dough in a bundt cake mold and glazing the resulting baked, ridged doughnut-like confections with a thick icing perfumed with booze.

Chouquettis, are ostensibly a mix of chouquette — sugar-covered choux pastry — and spaghetti — in that they’re topped with squiggles of crispy dough made to resemble spaghetti noodles — before they are topped with chocolate and crunchy pearl sugar.

In “Tuca & Bertie,” Bertie’s chouquettis draw lines for miles down the street from the bakery, making her Insta-famous overnight. Get in on the fun and bake up a batch yourself, but make sure to share them with a friend.

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Cruller dough and the bundt cake shape marry to create the "crunt," a whimsical pastry featured on Netflix's "Tuca & Bertie."
(Lisa Hanawalt)

Crunts

55 minutes, plus 20 minutes cooling. Makes 6.

Buy the mini bundt cake molds you need to shape your crunts on Amazon or from your local baking supply store.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum, whiskey, or coffee liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon milk

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a mini bundt cake pan with 6 cavities in the oven to heat with it.

2. Combine the butter, brown sugar, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough ball around the spoon. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until a film starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the dough to a bowl.

3. Stir the mixture for about 1 minute to allow it to cool, then add the whole egg and stir. The dough will break apart at first and then come back together again. Keep stirring until it returns to a smooth dough. Add the egg white and stir again until the dough is smooth and shiny. When you lift your spoon from the bowl, the dough should hang in a flat sheet that bends over on itself when you turn the spoon handle down. Stir in the vanilla, then transfer the batter to a plastic pastry bag or heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag.

4. Remove the mini bundt pan from the oven and use a pastry brush to quickly brush the molds with some oil. Snip off the tip of the bag to create a 1/2-inch-wide hole, and pipe a ring of the cruller dough evenly into each mini bundt mold. Quickly brush the dough rings with more oil then place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until golden brown and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes more. Turn off the heat, prop the oven door ajar with the handle of a wooden spoon, and let the crunts sit for 20 minutes or until slightly warm.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar and booze in a small bowl and stir to form a thick paste. Drizzle in the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time and stirring between each addition, until it forms a smooth, thick glaze.

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6. Remove the mini bundt pan from the oven and quickly remove each crunt from the pan and dip its bottom in the glaze to coat. Turn the crunts glaze side-up on a wire rack and let cool until the glaze sets. Alternatively, invert the crunts onto the rack and pour the glaze over the top while they’re still warm.

Note: Recipe inspired by Tuca & Bertie; created by Ben Mims

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Chouquettis (chouquettes + spaghetti), crunchy little pastries, topped with chocolate ganache and pearl sugar, are the creation of Bertie on "Tuca & Bertie"
(Lisa Hanawalt)

Chouquettis

Time: 55 minutes plus 20 minutes cooling. Makes 20.

You’ll need two disposable plastic pastry bags to make this recipe since you’ll need to pipe the dough in two different thicknesses: thick for the base of the chouquetti, then spaghetti-noodle-thin for the squiggles on top. But don’t worry, you don’t need special pastry tips here, just a pair of scissors to snip off the tip at the right spot.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • Pearl sugar, for decorating

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup flour all at once, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough ball around the spoon. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until a film starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the dough to a bowl.

3. Stir the mixture for about 1 minute to allow it to cool, then add the whole egg and stir. The dough will break apart at first and then come back together again. Keep stirring until it returns to a smooth dough. Add the egg white and stir again until the dough is smooth and shiny. When you lift your spoon from the bowl, the dough should hang in a flat sheet that bends over on itself when you turn the spoon handle down. Stir in the vanilla, then transfer the batter to a plastic pastry bag or heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag.

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4. Snip off the tip of the bag to create a 1/2-inch-wide hole, and pipe a 1-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick mound of the dough 20 times on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer the remaining dough to a small bowl, stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon flour, then transfer the dough to another pastry bag that has no tip. Snip the end off the bag until the opening is big enough that you are able to pipe a spaghetti noodle-thick strand of dough. Pipe the dough over each mound, squiggling it randomly in every direction.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until golden brown and puffed, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer the chouquettis from the muffin pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before making the ganache.

6. Make ganache: Place the chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then pour it over the chocolate and let the two stand, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Using a whisk, stir the cream from the center steadily until it emulsifies with the chocolate into a smooth ganache.

7. Spoon the ganache over the tops of each chouquetti and sprinkle their tops with pearl sugar. Place each chouquetti in a mini cupcake liner, then let the chouquettis stand until the ganache sets before serving.

Note: Recipe inspired by Tuca & Bertie; created by Ben Mims


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