Pastry chef Dominique Ansel loves the classic croissant so much that he revived the lesser known Brittany pastry, the Kouign Amann, in his SoHo bakery.
The Kouign Amann is made out of a croissant-like dough with the addition of sugar. One bite and you feel the crackly crust and caramelized sugar that melts on your lips---you’re hooked, line and sinker, for life. There’s also a tender flaky core that just begs you to pair this sweet breakfast treat with a mug of coffee. The version in Dominique’s eponymous bakery is a little different than the traditional Breton cake, which is larger, and often served warm. It’s also heavier. Think of this version as the New Yorker’s best friend: light, airy and oh so sweet that stays well clear of saccharine. This is a delicious resurrection that won’t be going out of style anytime soon.
(Side note: also try the canneles, which have a hint of dark rum).
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Dominique Ansel was a pastry chef at Fauchon in Paris and at Daniel for 6 years until he decided to open up this adorable little Parisian-style pastry shop. There you will find savory offerings for lunch but also, a beautiful array of tested and approved French pastries like kouing-amann, cannelés and his take on the Paris-Brest, the Paris-New York. I fell in love with the beautiful narrow space the minute I stepped in. Check out the open kitchen in the back where they were making cookies when I was there and the all-weather greenhouse where you can sit and enjoy your treats. The “mini-me” colourful miniature meringues are so cute you won’t be able to resist buying a few packages of those, I’m sure.
Dominique Ansel's cronut creation was hailed as one of the best inventions in 2013 by TIME magazine. Every day you'll see long lines form before the bakery even opens. You'll need to get there early to secure 2 of these precious confections. Or you can try your luck using the online pre-order system.
Are they worth all the hype? Absolutely. It is the perfect union of flaky pastry and custard filled fried goodness. I've always loved doughnuts and croissants so this just sends me into foodie bliss!