Paul Hurley’s at the head of new doughnut seller Dum Dum Doughnuts, who have the capital weak at the knees for his delicious baked-not-fried offerings. By simply spraying the doughnuts with oil rather than deep-frying them, Hurley has lowered the fat and ‘bad stuff’ in these tasty treats. Dum Dums have made Box Park their permanent home after a temporary pop-up in Westfield Stratford. Since opening last week, and Londoners have been queuing around the block every day. They’re such hot property that there isn’t even a closing time for the shop – it’s 8am until doughnuts are sold out.
We had a quick chat with Hurley about his obsession with doughnuts and setting up shop in Shoreditch.
Where did the name ‘Dum Dum’ come from?
It’s what my children called my doughnuts when they were young as it was easy to say. I like the way it’s not too serious. There are doughnuts after all!
What’s your best-selling doughnut?
The Zebra Croissant doughnut which is layered croissant dough and layered chocolate croissant dough. When you cut it in half it looks like a Zebra. We then finish it with a Chocolate Crème au Buerre filling and our dark chocolate ganache. The other variety is a Crème Brûlée which has a real crunchy caramel topping.
Why, out of all the pastry and dessert items in the world, did you choose to dedicate your life to doughnuts?
It started by chance when I was 16. It just seemed to me that doughnuts are a product that everyone loves but have never really been evolved and focused on since they became popular in the 50’s.
You’ve travelled the world in search of the best doughnut – where did you find it, and what made it so good?
I love many types of doughnuts from Bomboloni to Beignets. We try to incorporate amazing doughnuts from around the world, desserts, pastries and then use our technology to amalgamate them together.
What is your favourite out of your doughnuts, and what do you like to enjoy your doughnut with?
Doughnuts with coffee is a brilliant combination. Either first thing in the morning or for your 4 o’clock pick me up. Recently my wife and I give a box of Dum Dum’s with a good Prosecco as a gift, which is also a nice treat. My favourite at the moment is our Crème Brûlée but I am growing towards some of the new Beignet Soufflé.
You’ve only been at Box Park for a week, how has the response been so far? Around what time are you selling out?
Amazing. We feel so humbled by how we have had so many people talk about us and spread the word. Our customers are a big part of the Dum Dums offer and we consider them friends. We have had people bring good luck cards and post lovely messages all over the social networking sites. Each day we have sold out by 1pm of 1000 doughnuts and our online ordering had to be suspended so we could reach demand.
After my chat with Paul, I got a box of samples. Here’s what they look like:
The second the still-slightly-warm box landed in my arms, I knew I would need help to articulate the taste of these bad boys. So I pooled resources, handing out bites of doughnuts to fellow journalism students and asking for their three-word reviews. Here’s a sample of what they said:
Thank you, Dum Dum, for these little light bites of heaven and, for just one day, making me the most popular person on my course.