For such a young business with very limited experience in the culinary world, Manila Social Club has generated plenty of buzz since it introduced the unusual and extraordinary item to its menu – a $100 gold doughnut!
Based in Brooklyn, the eatery’s head chef and founder Björn DelaCruz first came up with the idea of something far different from your ordinary fried ring of dough. It is then that he decided to make the extravagant ‘Golden Cristal Ube Donut’. For everyone wondering what the lavish ingredients are, it is filled with ube (purple yam) mousse and champagne jelly, iced with frosting made with Cristal and smothered in 24-karat gold.
The idea was conceived after Manila Social held its first ‘DJ & Donut’ party. DelaCruz was having leftover donuts and sipping champagne when he struck gold with the idea of making Cristal and ube filled doughnut, sprinkled with gold flake. Some of the people around him thought it was an unwise idea, however his close friend motivated him to go ahead with it and said that the gold doughnut will surely go viral sooner rather than later.
And viral it do go! The Golden Cristal Ube Donut had its first stint in the limelight when it was featured in ‘First We Feast’. What place does a $100 doughnut have in a city with thousands of hungry people? “People say, ‘Oh, it’s just a gimmick,'” Delacruz says as he delicately applies gold flakes to a doughnut. “Well, putting gold on food has always been a gimmick.”
Looking at the gold doughnut, you can’t resist but click a picture and post it Insta-ntly on your social media. So sharing on social media has helped generate plenty of buzz for the doughnut.
It takes around 90 minutes for each gold doughnut to be plated and completely made. The batter is made from ube and flour and then deep fried. The sweets are then piped with ube and champagne mousse and painted with champagne and sugar icing. Each pastry is covered with two sheets of gold leaves and sprinkled methodically with flakes.
The gold doesn’t add anything to the flavor. All it can add is some excitement to the process of consuming it. The Cristal’s honey goes well with the ube mousse, he explains. Cruz has also said in several of his interviews that this doughnut is supposed to be complemented with champagne.
How many do they sell? Several dozens in a week, DelaCruz has claimed.
Despite the $100 price tag, this unusual delicacy has managed to make quite a splash, with fans reportedly ordering them by the dozen. After the success of gold, DelaCruz followed it with a Platinum doughnut for $150. This one is more for a charitable cause as the proceeds of it go to the American Cancer society.