The cronut, a trademarked half croissant half doughnut unveiled in May at a bakery in New York City, has caused inconceivable pastry hysteria: a black market, scalpers, fakes, and customers sleeping out overnight to get their hands on one of the only 300 cronuts made daily. But American baker Bea Vo, who owns four bake shops across the pond in London, is giving the cronut a run for its hybrid dessert money/celebrity status with a sweet she calls… the “townie”.
As reported by NPR yesterday, Bea came up with the idea for her “townie” after London’s Evening Standard newspaper tasked its food editor Victoria Stewart with commissioning a winning dessert combination to rival the cronut. With her background in fusion desserts, Bea was Victoria’s first choice for the challenge.
The confection connoisseur delivered on her sinfully delicious mission with a tartlet-brownie mashup (a.k.a. the “townie”) that brings out the best of both desserts with its crisp outer shell and gooey center.
Bea says that because brownie dough isn’t very wet it prevents the shell from getting soggy and also allows for underbaking the brownie to give the center that ecstasy inducing chocolate gooeyness.
So how did her customers like it? Bea, who expected to sell no more than a few dozen, sold 800 townies in 10 days. Taste untested, that is enough said for us to want one… or several.
Since Bea’s of Bloomsbury doesn’t ship overseas, a trip to London is clearly in order.
Lead image: Courtesy of Bea’s of Bloomsbury/Helena Marie Fletcher