Cupcakes are cool. But doughnuts are hot.
A handful of new and relatively new shops are producing the kind of high-quality, limited-quantity, chef-driven doughnuts that truly can be called artisanal products.
Much as cupcake specialists revolutionized their product with imaginative flavors and first-rate ingredients, these new-wave doughnut-makers combine the soul-nurturing satisfaction of fresh, warm doughnuts with the decadent thrill of Valrhona chocolate, seasonal jellies and chestnut glaze.
It’s heaven with a hole.
And customers are, ahem, eating them up, enduring long lines and narrow windows of opportunity (these shops stay open only a few hours a day) for these nuggets of deliciousness.
Which isn’t surprising when you know who the doughnut-makers are.
Francis Brennan went from running the kitchen at L2O to creating Do-Rite Donuts, a 3-month-old shop in the Loop. Christine McCabe, onetime pastry chef at Charlie Trotter’s and the creator of Sugar, a now-defunct drinks-and-desserts concept, now works her sweet magic for Glazed and Infused, a recently opened doughnut specialist with Wicker Park and Market District locations. Patrick Addison, pastry chef at The Gilt Bar, spends his mornings frying dough at The Doughnut Vault, where customers line up before he opens the doors.
GLAZED AND INFUSED
The single-best doughnut-shop name I’ve ever heard is Glazed and Infused. A mere 17 days old, this newcomer is making a lot of friends in a hurry.
Scott Harris (Mia Francesca, The Purple Pig, Davanti Enoteca, more) is the force behind this operation — the Wicker Park location is tucked inside Francesca’s Forno restaurant — but the partners who oversee the doughnuts are executive pastry chef Christine McCabe and executive chef Tom Culleeney, a veteran chef who headed up Lettuce Entertain You’s franchise operations with Krispy Kreme.
Prices range from $1.75 to $2.50, except for the maple-bacon long johns, which, covered in maple glaze and topped with a full strip of applewood-smoked bacon, are well worth the $3.25 price. “By far our top seller,” says McCabe.
There are 13 varieties offered currently, and they’re all so good it’s difficult to pick a favorite. But I’ll make specific mention of the creme brulee, a cream-filled creation whose sugar topping is authentically brittle; the PB&J, which features a raspberry-filling middle and a crunchy peanut-butter glaze; and the Chocolate 4, a chocolate-cake doughnut with fudge filling, ganache icing and crunchy chocolate-streusel on top.
Jelly-filled doughnuts are meant to be seasonal. “Right now it’s pretty much all raspberry,” McCabe says. “We’re just waiting for the local fruit to come in.” Stay tuned for summer peaches.
The Wicker Park location is little more than a walk-up window, but the Market District location has tables and chairs. A third location, in Lincoln Park, will have seating when it opens; delivery service will be added. If you’re ordering in quantity, call your order in; there are by-the-dozen discounts available for phone orders that aren’t offered to walk-in customers.
813 W. Fulton Market, 312-226-5556; 1553 N. Damen Ave., 773-770-0184, glazedandinfuseddoughnuts.com. Opens: 6:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Prices: $1.75-$3.25.
Source: Chicago Tribune