“The perfect croissant should be light and golden brown with a good height and nice even spacing between the layers”, says Cameron Felstead, 23. “They should have a crunchy and flaky exterior and a soft fluffy interior. A bad croissant will be heavy with a dense interior”.
The past year has seen a rise in specialist shops, like Anstruther cider destination, Aeble, and, in Edinburgh, The Banh Mi Bar, more shops for Bross Bagels, as well as Jimmy’s Fried Chicken, Luxford Burgers, and Smiddy BBQ.
If you’re going to concentrate on a single thing, you better do it right.
These people do, and Felstead thinks he can too, when it comes to his croissants.
“I love them for their buttery flavour and smell,” says this young baker.
After a year of operating from Leith’s Police Box, where you’ll also find pop-ups from the likes of Ptasie Mleczko, he’ll be opening his own shop, Crazy Croissants, on July 9, in the former premises of the William Hill bookies on Edinburgh’s Bernard Street.
It’s quite a jump, from a casual weekly appearance, to a proper venue.
“I came up with the idea when we had our first lockdown,” says Felstead, who’s worked as a kitchen porter and a commis chef, though is self-taught when it comes to baking. “I got into baking my own croissants and started to play around with different filling ideas. After things started to ease up I was able to give out some samples and got some really good feedback. That gave me confidence to keep trying new ideas and then eventually I got my own spot at Leith Walk Police Box”.
The pop-up allowed this entrepreneur to test out a variety of flavours on paying guinea pigs. Usually Felstead would offer customers a selection of four sweet versions, as well as three savoury and one vegan, each of which sold for just two or three quid.
The “crazy” part of this business’s name might be explained by the fillings and toppings, which are rather doughnut-like. We’re not sure if you could find anything similar in a Parisian cafe. Sacre bleu! (Although they are serving coffee in Crazy Croissant’s new shop, so you can dunk your pastry, in a more authentically Gallic way).
Felstead’s signature creation is the Raspberry Glaze - a “glazed French butter croissant filled with raspberry jam and topped with raspberry pieces and white chocolate”. However, he’s also diversified into savoury croissants, and a few other equally flaky, buttery and calorific bakes.
“At launch we will have a slightly new menu with some favourites and new ideas”, says Felstead. “There will be classics like a plain butter croissant, pain au chocolat and pain au raisin along with our signature sweet crazy croissants: glazed croissant, chocolate glazed, and strawberries and cream. There will also be savoury varieties such as smoked salmon and cream cheese, pate and caramelised onion, with the Mediterranean and pistachio chicken available in a croissant or baguette”.
5 Bernard Street, Edinburgh (Instagram @crazycroissant_edi)