At one of NYC’s most popular bakeries, Fan Fan, there are certain pastries that people will specifically seek out. One such pastry is the Danny Boy doughnut, or a brown butter salted caramel doughnut.
To make the treat, Gerson creates the drizzle by mixing sugar and water to start the process of making caramel. When it starts to heat up, Gerson says she mostly uses her smell to tell when the caramel is ready. “When you smell it, you can almost taste it in the back of your throat,” Gerson says. “It just needs to smell like deep caramel and taste like the beginning hints of bitter.”
When it’s ready, she adds cream and mixes until it’s smooth, then carefully blends the brown butter in to avoid the caramel splashing back up and burning her.
Next, she moves onto the doughnut glaze. “Even though it has a lot of similar ingredients [to the drizzle], they taste different,” says Gerson. “They add layers. I always like to think of different ways to layer so nothing is one note.”
For the glaze, she begins by heating up cream in a pot before introducing the brown butter. Once the butter is melted, Gerson stirs in brown sugar, then mixes in confectionary sugar and salt, adding thickness.
Finally, Gerson dips the doughnut into the glaze, adds the drizzle on top, sprinkles pecans onto one corner, and dusts on Maldon salt.
The first time she made the doughnut, she recorded her husband, whose name is Danny, eating it: He loved it so much that she named the pastry after him. “It’s as sweet as he is,” she says.
Watch the full video to see what other pastries Gerson makes at Fan Fan.