31 August 2015

Review: Crosstown Doughnuts

Here's another review I've been sitting on for a while, as I first went to Crosstown Doughnuts in April this year. I really must start putting pen to paper more frequently (or rather finger to keypad).

I first tried Crosstown doughnuts at their little coffee and doughnut nook in Piccadilly Station, which was a pop up store. I love doughnuts (obviously, who doesn't?) and was intrigued to hear about these unusual sourdough ones, so I swung by to try a couple. Since then they've opened a doughnut and coffee bar on Broadwick Street, Soho, and are about to open another location in Spitalfields market. As well as their own cafes, they also appear at various markets in London (such as Leather Lane) and are stocked in some shops too (I recently noticed them at Whole Foods Kensington). 

The difference with Crosstown doughhnuts, as I've mentioned, is that their dough is partly made with sourdough. This not only makes for a more substantial texture than your average doughnut (it feels more like eating a soft bread than a doughnut), it also makes them noticeably less greasy. Apparently this is because the closer crumb means less oil is absorbed in the deep fat frying process. I suppose that makes it ok to eat more than one then!

Crosstown have an interesting selection of doughnut flavours: some that you'd expect, and others that are more adventurous. Most recently I tried their Raspberry Jam doughnut. I hadn't tried it before as it's pretty vanilla as far as doughnut flavours go, but I was really surprised at how good it was. You can tell that the jam is homemade - it has a really nice, thick texture, with lots of fruit: far from the nondescript, sweet, red sauce that usually fills doughnuts. The jam was also reasonably tart which I liked - that worked well with the sweetness of the doughnut and stopped it from being sickly.

The jam could barely contain itself. Neither could I.

Other flavours I've tried include Sea Salt Caramel & Banana Cream. Now, I love both of those flavours separately but I was extremely sceptical about putting the two together. Turns out that they are in fact a match made in heaven. The doughnut itself is chocolate flavour, and it's filled with a smooth banana cream, and topped with the salted caramel, as well as some crunchy chocolate 'soil' - well, why not? It is very sweet though - make sure to have a coffee or glass of milk on standby when trying this one.

I've also tried the Lamnut, so called because it's inspired by the Australian Lamington cake (a chocolate and coconut sponge). It had a great flavour, but the cake doughnut was a bit dry for me. I suppose this is when that little bit of extra fat picked up in the cooking process would have helped. A thin layer of raspberry jam across the middle of the doughnut nicely lifts the particularly dense texture of this one.

So many flavours!

There are lots of flavours left for me to try... the Peanut Butter & Berry one is definitely calling my name. You can see the full list of flavours here.

As well as doughnuts, Crosstown Soho also serves coffee, with London-based roasting company Assembly providing the beans. They also sell Sandow's cold brew coffee.

If you have a sweet tooth, I'm sure you'll enjoy trying Crosstown's wares! And if you really, really like them, make sure you pick up one of their loyalty cards so you can get your seventh doughnut free.

What's your favourite type of doughnut?

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