Pastry chefs in Asia have been creating their own version of Cronuts, the mania-inducing croissant-doughnut hybrid invented by New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel. The Wall Street Journal reports that some have gone to extremes to figure out how to reverse engineer Cronuts of their own. Chef Ana Lorenzana-De Ocampo of Wildflour Cafe + Bakery in the Philippines had Cronuts flown in from Ansel's SoHo bakery to her bakery in Manila so she could assess how to begin making them herself.
De Ocampo was part of the first wave of Cronut imitators who had their knockoffs on shelves just weeks after the pastry debuted in New York City. Bakeries like the Sweet Spot in Beijing and the Banderole chain in Japan have spent months working out their own knockoff Cronut recipes, resulting in special flavors like Green Tea and Peanut Caramel. A store manager for Sweet Spot explains the challenge: "The concept is easy but (it is) hard to make." Like at Dominique Ansel Bakery, the Sweet Spot has had to up its production because it regularly sells out. These imitations are in good company with the many shameless non-Cronuts all over the world like these, these, and these.