Is The Croffle Pastry Perfection? Chef Louise Lennox Thinks So
If you can’t go past midday without your croissant fix and weekend brunch isn’t the same without a stack of waffles, then you surely have heard the news of the marriage of two of your favorite breakfast items.
Known as a ‘Croffle’, the latest in sweet and savoury dessert hybrids is simply a buttery layered croissant cooked to crisp perfection in a waffle iron, which has the doubly delicious effect of creating all those nooks and crannies that catch syrups and sauces or anything you want to drizzle and dollop on top.
Finally, the Croffle is being given the spotlight it deserves as the pièce de résistance of a unique pop-up café now open on Camden Street in Dublin city centre.
‘La Petite Boulangerie’ by Cuisine de France opened this week to the delight of Dublin diners serving Cuisine de France favourites, along with a full menu of these layered luxuries each with an array of fillings and toppings.
Collaborating with the much-loved bakery brand on the pastry project is chef Louise Lennox, well known as the effervescent dessert queen on The Restaurant, who regularly impresses Marco Pierre White and his fellow critics with her sugar skills and chocolate work during her decade long stint on the series.
The perfect choice then to work with Cuisine de France to bring something delicious and innovative to their customers, showcasing a firm favourite, the croissant, in a new light.
Louise’s signature Croffle, developed in collaboration with the Product and Innovation team at Cuisine de France, is stuffed with creamy Avocado, sweet sun blushed tomatoes and a feta cheese cream, before being generously garnished with a feta drizzle, gremolata crumb and chopped toasted hazelnuts.
“I love all the hybrid food creations we are seeing,” admits Louise, who says she travelled to London just to visit the bakery of Dominique Ansel, the creator of the cronut. “So when Cuisine de France got in touch about developing a Croffle I was incredibly intrigued.”
“I went out to Cuisine de France’s Innovation centre and worked with them to develop the Croffle. Myself and the Product development chefs tweaked and tasted everything until I came up with a combination of flavours I was happy with.”
Along with Louise’s Avocado and Feta Croffle there are other savoury Croffles flavoured with Chicken and Gravy or Pulled Pork and Apple Slaw, along with sweet varieties like Lemon Cheesecake and Nutella and Banana.
“I love croissants but I find it hard to find a proper croissant when eating out. My biggest grievance is when I see them microwaved. I will send them back because they go soggy when the butter is melted. The crisp pastry is ruined!
“But this croissant is on a whole other level,” says the chef, who is almost audibly drooling as she describes the crispy magic that occurs when a croissant meets a waffle iron.
“It stays warm and crispy, but it doesn’t go soggy because of the searing hot heat. It’s crispier than a normal croissant could ever be. That added to the fact that it’s filled and finished off with toppings a Croffle really is just my little piece of heaven!”
Along with croissants, Louise adores French pastry classics like bécham pastries and eclairs. “I really do think the French are masters of the craft.”“One of the best ones I’ve ever had I actually picked up in a French train station. It was like a croissant, puff pastry lattice filled with a sausage filling and a mustard béchamel and cheese on top. It was the best thing I had tasted that whole weekend in Paris!”
She has huge respect for Cuisine de France who have been bringing a taste of France to Ireland since the 1980’s, when the country was all strikes and austerity and bog standard sliced pan.
“What’s really impressed me is how they are continually revisiting and improving their recipes, especially for the croissant. If they are not made of butter they leave a film on the top of your mouth. When I met with the Product Innovation team they explained how their croissants are made with sixteen layers of rich French butter using a centuries old technique.”
Baking is a science in itself, but last year Louise took it one step further studying Molecular Gastronomy in the UK. “My office looks like Heston Blumenthal’s with liquid nitrogen, calcium alginate and all the rest! I was in my element out in Cuisine de France’s Innovation Centre!”
La Petite Boulangerie’ will be open on Camden Street for two weeks from 10th – 22nd July, serving a menu of morning and afternoon treats daily (see full menu below) from 8am – 3pm, with the spotlight on the highly anticipated Croffle.
To keep up to date on the new opening follow Cuisine de France at and on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.