Dominique Ansel’s New Bakery Opens Today with Guinness Brioche and Fancy Pain au Chocolat
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Dominique Ansel Kitchen, Ansel’s second bakery in New York, opens in the West Village on 7th Avenue on April 29
Dominique Ansel’s creative pastries and long lines come to the West side.
Cronut king Dominique Ansel opened up his second New York City bakery in the West Village today. Although this location will not sell the hybrid pastries that made him a New York sweets legend, who needs cronuts when you can sample the next generation of the French pastry staple pain au chocolat? Ansel’s interpretation of the classic is a croissant with honeycomb crumb, topped with orange compound butter and shards of Valrhona dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.
That’s just one of the pastry creations you can get at Dominique Ansel Kitchen. The bakery will have what Ansel believes to be a unique business model: 70 percent of the menu items will be made to order, rather than assembled in bulk, according to Time Magazine.
“When you think of pastries, it’s still a world that hasn’t been explored as much,” Ansel told Time Magazine. “In New York, there are bakeries from different countries, but there’s nothing as exciting. There are no experimental bakeries, there are no bakeries that really push themselves to do something unique and different.”
Some of the other menu highlights that have us salivating in anticipation are the 1:1 lemon yuzu butter tart (a made-to-order lemon tart where the lemon curd is emulsified with fine European butter just before being served from a milkshake maker); made-to-order chocolate mousse, and Guinness baba au rhum (Guinness-soaked brioche with malt cream).
The bakery will also sell savory items, including the EGG-clipse (squid ink brioche with creamy garlic mashed potatoes and two confit egg yolks, filled with mushroom béchamel) and a prosciutto and Boursin croissant (a twist on the classic ham and cheese croissant). The bakery is also supposed to feature dessert cocktails with Champagne, mezcal, and other liquors.
Dominique Ansel’s New Bakery Opens Today with Guinness Brioche and Fancy Pain au Chocolat - Recipes
Remember how Brownie, Little B, and I ate waffles *after* brunch? Well, this is the brunch in question. Sorry for the slightly blurry photographs. Little B has learned things like how to eat my half of the shared doughnut, and when you're trying to fight off a 18-month-old you tend to say "Yea, whatever, shot's good. That's not your half of the doughnut, Little B." We had decided to meet that day for brunch at Colonie, a newer restaurant—it opened last February—on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights.
We knew we had to try the homemade doughnuts, one of which was available in their basket of baked goods ($7), so that was to split. Besides the doughnut, it came with a lemon muffin and an almond chocolate brioche. The muffin was moist and tangy, the doughnut sugary fried goodness (yes, Little B did eat most of my half), but the chocolate brioche just didn't do it for me. It was dry and needed a good amount of butter and/or jam to make me happy. I could have easily skipped it.
For our main meals, I got the Biscuits Benedict while Brownie got their Mushroom Egg Toast. Both were simple done up a wee bit fancy. Perfectly poached eggs covered in rich hollandaise were soaked up nicely by dense biscuits. And that's not bacon in the middle, it's heritage ham. Brownie seemed to love her dish. The fried eggs and toast were covered in (I think) slightly sauteed shimeji mushrooms and a generous amount of parmesan. As for price, I'd say they were about in line with what you'd expect from a classier spot my dish was $14 while hers was $12. I don't know if either of us will run back, but it's a definite spot to keep in mind for date nights.
127 Atlantic Avenue
This braised chicken recipe, adapted from chef Sébastien Gravé, is emblematic of the Basque region’s affection for colorful, peppery stews. Though paprika can work in a pinch, it’s the flakier, lightly spicy, more enigmatic Espelette pepper that’s characteristic of the region. Get the recipe for Chicken Basquaise » Beth Galton
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This sister-owned Soho bakery looks sweet, but isn't saccahrine. Using no more sugar and fat than they need, their inventive and joyfully decorated offerings are delicately, carefully flavoured. Cutter & Squidge’s Dream Cakes make for jaw dropping centrepieces for your big celebration, or can also be enjoyed by the slice in house – the Lychee Kiss is an elegant flavour trio of lychee, raspberry and rose. For a whimsical version of the full works, you can also join Cutter & Squidge for their Potions Room afternoon tea featuring a lemon potion in a cauldron and butterscotch versions of their "biskies".
No longer need we rely on our stateside cousins for doughnut decadence with these guys around. Once a market stall on Leather Lane, Crosstown Doughnuts have opened 5 permanent locations around London in the last 2 years, serving up their unique take on the American classic. Crosstown bake their doughnuts from sourdough, giving them a bread-like texture, topped and filled with myriad intriguing flavours, from Yuzu & Passionfruit to Beetroot Lemon-Thyme.
TRAVEL: A Cronut, Springtime in Brooklyn and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
This past weekend, while E was working, I decided to hop a New Jersey Transit train to New York City. Why sit at home when I could wander?
After a quick forty minute ride, I was in Pennsylvania Station, right in the middle of everything. Where to first?!
I had been DYING to try one of Dominique Ansel‘s FAMOUS Cronuts® (they turned 3 years old yesterday) so I hopped on the subway down to Soho. Maybe the line wouldn’t be ridiculously long? One could only hope!
Within minutes I was getting off at Spring Street and walking to the Dominique Ansel Bakery storefront. At 10:00 AM (they open at 8:00 AM during the week and on Saturdays and 9:00 AM on Sundays) there was already a line for Cronuts that ran all the way down the block! I guess I wasn’t the only one with a hankering for a Cronut! The line was FILLED with tourists, all clamoring for a taste of the famous sweet treat. I may have been the only one currently living in the tri-state area.
I found out from my fellow line mates that they only sell one flavor of Cronut each month. The May flavor is Brown Sugar Rhubarb with Lemon Thyme Sugar. The flavor combination was thankfully right up my alley!
There were about twenty people in front of me but the line moved surprisingly fast. Within thirty minutes I was INSIDE the bakery! I was expecting to be standing outside for at least an hour. Expectations already exceeded!
Once inside, I immediately understood the hype. The pretty little pastries were adorable and looked delectable. You could smell the sugar everywhere. I was in HEAVEN!
I heard that while the Cronut is what Chef Ansel is famous for, his other pastries are even better. Unfortunately, I had a singular focus, the Cronut! Next time I am getting Penny the Pig, “a classic French religieuse that consists of a double-decker cream puff filled with fresh strawberry jam and honey rose mascarpone cream.” Doesn’t that just sound divine!?
Little Piggy PastriesAll Of The Goodies!After waiting for another ten minutes inside, I picked out and paid for my Cronut (each person is only allowed to buy a maximum of two each) and hurried outside. I HAD to try it IMMEDIATELY.
Unfortunately, it was around this time that E called and asked what I was up to. After I told him, he asked if I could wait to try the Cronut with him. I begrudgingly obliged. Instead I only took photos with it until his afternoon arrival.
Someone Is Excited!DITTOMy Brown Sugar Rhubarb with Lemon Thyme Sugar Cronut In ALL Of Her Glory!#agirlandhercronut #agirlandherdonut
After the thrill and excitement of FINALLY getting my hands on a Cronut, I was ready to do something a little more relaxing and maybe a little less touristy.
E and I recently became members of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and we hadn’t yet been able to visit and see the cherry blossoms. The past few weeks have flown by!
While I knew that peak bloom had passed (we missed it by ONE WEEK), I thought that seeing post peak might still be worth my while. I am so happy that I decided to go! The cherry blossoms, while definitely past their prime, were still gorgeous. The petals were soft and falling everywhere. There was a blanket of pink petals covering the grass. And while the cherry blossoms were no longer blooming, the bluebells and tulips were in their prime and absolutely GLORIOUS!
Boots: Loeffler RandallJacket: Everlane, Jeans: AYR, Boots: Loeffler Randall, Hat: Janessa Leone, Bag: Lo & Sons, Shirt: J.Crew
After wandering throughout the garden, I was HUNGRY. It was around now that E made it into the Brooklyn. He met up with my brother and I for some late brunch at Krupa Grocery. You may remember them from my last post on New York City (see HERE).
The last time we went, my brother ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes. While I loved my avocado toast, I watched him eat every last bite of his pancakes with envy. They looked and smelled AMAZING.
I wasn’t going to make the same mistake this time! E and I shared an order of the pancakes. Sharing is caring. After all we did still have Cronut to eat! The pancakes were just as I imagined they would be. Fluffy, with a hint of lemon! The blueberry compote perfectly complimented the lemon. Not too sweet with just a little tartness. I would order these over and over again. They actually reminded me of the pancakes I ate at Archetype Napa (see HERE). Thankfully, Brooklyn is much closer then Napa!
After the pancakes it was time to head back into New York City. E and I planned to have dinner with a friend at Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana in the East Village. Because you can never have too many carbs in one day!
Before dinner, we HAD to try the Cronut…and of course we HAD to try it in front of a mural. What I didn’t realize when I took my first bite was that the Cronut was PACKED with filling. A big glob of filling landed right on my boot!
The Cronut was even better then I had expected. There were layers upon layers of flaky croissant filled with rhubarb jam. Every bite blew me away! I can’t wait to see what Chef Ansel has in store for the month of June (my birthday month)!
Going In For My First Bite of Cronut. What a perfect way to end the day. With a Cronut in my belly and Cronut filling on my shoe. It doesn’t get much better then that!
LOCAL: New Jersey’s Best Donuts
Donuts are my favorite food group.
When we moved from Boston down to New Jersey (almost two years ago – my how time flies!), I was sad to be leaving my favorite donuts, from Union Square Donuts. They sold them in our parking lot EVERY sunday at SOWA, a Sunday market in the South End. Every week I would wander down and try a different flavor.
Fortunately, after moving down from Boston and doing meticulous research, I was pleasantly surprised to find that New Jersey was home to some really special donut shops! I have made it my mission to try as many of them as I can. In the last year we have hit up five shops, all of them different and decadent.
Follow along on Instagram and Facebook as we find out about new shops and make our way out to them! I use the hashtag #agirlandherdonut. I know. So clever.
Purple Glaze – Asbury Park, NJ
A few Sundays ago it was raining cats and dogs. E and I couldn’t sit in the apartment anymore so, like any normal couple would, we hopped in the car and drove down to Asbury Park for donuts! I had heard about Purple Glaze from some friends on Instagram. I couldn’t wait to try them out!
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the owners. We mentioned that we drove from South Orange just to try their donuts and they were SHOCKED! We were amazed by how many different flavors they had to offer. The donuts are made to order and decorated right in front of you. It was so fun to watch. We ordered a Key Lime Pie, a Holey Cannoli, a Butterfinger, and a Raspberry White Chocolate Glazed donut. Four donuts. Two People. Totally normal.
The donuts were fried to perfection. The Butterfinger and Key Lime Pie were our personal favorites. Would we drive all the way back down to Asbury Park just for donuts again? ABSOLUTELY.
Jacket: Everlane, Shirt: Everlane, Jeans: J.Brand, Necklace: Ariel Gordon JewelryRings: Ariel Gordon Jewelry, Watch: Freedom to Exist
Glaze Donuts – New Milford, NJ
If you have been on Facebook any time in the last two months, you have definitely seen the infamous Rainbow Cookie Donut from Glaze Donuts. They were recently featured on Good Morning America and Thrillist. After the features, what was already a very popular donut is now impossible to get your hands on.
Luckily, E and I visited Glaze back in November, before anyone else really knew about it! We ordered a half dozen donuts, a variety of course. E ordered a Maple Bacon and Cannoli, while I ordered a half Rainbow Cookie Donut as well as a Blueberry Crumb, Nutella Filled, a Red Velvet and FINALLY an Apple Fritter. Don’t worry. We shared with friends.
The Rainbow Cookie Donut was just as amazing as I thought it would be. Spread between the different colors is a thin layer of raspberry jam. While delicious, I am happy I only ordered a half donut. I had to leave room to try the others!
Jacket: Everlane, Shirt: J.Crew, Jeans: J.Brand, Watch: Uniform Wares
I am a BIG Food Network fan and an avid watcher of Donut Showdown. So when I found out that the chef at the Montclair Bread Company won big on Donut Showdown I had to visit and try a few of their donuts for myself.
We arrived on Sunday morning and there was a line out the door! Always a good sign. I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the array of flavors. E and I selected two of their seasonal flavors, the Margarita and the Sangria donut. Who doesn’t love a liquor spiked donut in the morning?! While the Sangria donut was quite tasty, the Margarita donut was the true winner. The sugar rim and lime filling was DELICIOUS. I think I may have found my new favorite donut in New Jersey…
Next time I am definitely going to try the Nutella filled and Pistachio and Petals donuts. Both looked amazing and were flying off the shelves!
Shirt: Everlane, Sunglasses: Toms, Jacket: Madewell (old, similar HERE), Rings: Ariel Gordon JewelryShirt: Everlane, Jeans: American Eagle, Bag: Mansur Gavriel (similar HERE), Sunglasses: Toms, Jacket: Madewell (old, similar HERE), Rings: Ariel Gordon Jewelry
While some might say that this is not a true donut, I am not one of those people. The Duffin (donut + muffin) has won a spot in my donut loving heart. Every Sunday in Summit, Brownie Point’s Bakery sells their famous Duffins at the Summit Farmer’s Market and every week I don’t order one. A few weeks ago I just couldn’t resist. The jelly filled Duffin was calling my name!
You know how muffins and cupcakes are generally dry once you eat the muffin top…well the Duffin is moist throughout. And now I will never be able to successfully avoid ordering one ever again!
Jacket: J.Crew (old, similar HERE), Shirt: J.Crew, Jeans: American Eagle, Sunglasses: Toms, Bag: Lo & Sons, Watch: Freedom to Exist, Rings: Ariel Gordon Jewelry
One of our FAVORITE pizza places, Arturo’s, is located in Maplewood. It unfortunately is everyone’s favorite as well…We don’t get to go very often, as there is usually a long line. Last Sunday we were in Maplewood really early (around 11:30AM) so we decided to take a chance. We got lucky and they had a table for two! After devouring our ricotta crostini and kale caesar salads we were ready for dessert.
Palmers Sweetery and Cafe just opened right down the street from Arturo’s. I have been wanting to try ALL of their baked goods. I noticed that they had posted a photo of donuts on their Instagram account that morning. Of course we had to go for dessert. I selected a Nutella donut with little crunch balls on top. IT WAS AMAZING. I let E have one bite. The rest was all for me. I can’t wait to see what else Palmer’s has in store for us!Top: Alternative Apparel, Bag: Mansur Gavriel, Sunglasses: Toms
RSK Doughnuts – Stone Harbor, NJ
Last summer, we visited Stone Harbor down the Jersey Shore for a long weekend. Just as we were about to pack up and head back to South Orange, we noticed the Stone Harbor Farmer’s Market was opening. I can’t help myself when I see a farmer’s market. We wandered on through and found RSK Doughnuts. As luck would have it, we were there during peak peach season. They were serving their freshly fried bite size doughnuts with a peach jam on the side. The PERFECT summer bite. I can’t wait to visit RSK again this summer!
Shirt: Urban Outfitters (old, similar HERE), Necklace: Stella and Dot, Sunglasses: Toms, Rings: Ariel Gordon Jewelry
Post55 // foodstuffs bakery crawl: manhattan
hello people!! i write to you this week with a very exciting post: my first ever bakery crawl!
what’s a bakery crawl you may ask? well for those of you familiar with its drunken cousin, the pub crawl, a bakery crawl functions similarly as an extended time spent hopping around to different bakeries.
on my very first bakery crawl, i visited 10 bakeries. in 1 day. so you better be hungry, because you’re about to watch a whole lot of sweets!
- arcade bakery (tribeca) 220 church st, new york, ny 10013, open 8am-4pm mon-fri
- what i bought: seeded laminated baguette, and lemon sugar brioche
- maman (tribeca) 211 w broadway, new york, ny 10013, open 7am-6pm mon-fri and 8am-6pm sat, sun
- what i bought: chocolate pistachio croissant
- dominique ansel bakery (soho) 189 spring st, new york, ny 10012, open 8am-7pm mon-sat and 9am-7pm sun
- what i bought: dka (dominique’s kouign amann)
- mah-ze-dahr (west village) 28 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011, open 7am-6pm mon-fri and 8am-6pm sat, sun
- what i bought: sadly mah-ze-dahr was closed for a private event but i have tasted their chocolate chip cookie and ice cream before, both delicious!
- aux merveilleux de fred (meatpacking) 37 8th ave, new york, ny 10014, open 8am-7:30pm everyday
- what i bought: “the incredible” a speculoos meringue, covered in whipped cream and white chocolate shavings, and “the wonderful” a meringue with chocolate whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings
- momofuku milk bar (chelsea) 220 8th ave, new york, ny 10011, open 8am-11pm mon-thurs and 8am-12am fri-sun
- what i bought: b’day cake truffles
- sullivan street bakery (chelsea) 236 9th ave, new york, ny 10011, open 7am-4pm mon-fri and 8am-4pm sat, sun
- what i bought: garlic stretchy
- breads bakery (union square) 18 east 16th st, new york, ny 10003, open 6:30am-9pm mon-sat and 7:30am-8pm sun
- what i bought: reverse chocolate chip cookie
- zucker bakery (east village) 433 east 9th st, new york, ny 10009, open 8am-6pm mon-fri and 9am-7pm sat, sun
- what i bought: yin-yang black and white cookie
- supermoon bakehouse (lower east side) 120 rivington st, new york, ny 10002, open 8am-5pm everyday
- what i bought: eggnog cruffin
and in this week’s other stuff:
a stellar west village restaurant you need to try, duck fat tots and all
that’s all friends! have a happy weekend!
5 sweets I’m craving now
We’re on the doorstep of fall and I’m trying really hard not to be sad. I’m a summer girl. I understand everyone’s love of thick sweaters, crisp apples and crackling fireplaces. But I find it really hard to let go of long days of sunshine, lazy picnics in the park and bare feet.
That said, the change in light and temperature is getting under my skin, making my sweets cravings turn toward more fruity, savory and autumnal desserts:
Apricot danish from Petrossian :
Thanks to my conversation with Edward at Café Cluny, where they serve these wonderful creations.
Banana cupcake from Billy’s :
The cream cheese frosting reminds me of last weekend’s wedding cake.
Croissant from Claude’s :
Just do it, Amy.
Slow-baked apples & cinnamon from Dessert Truck :
It’s one of the last remaining treats to be sampled from the truck (the molten chocolate cake is the other).
Chocolate banana bread from Once Upon a Tart :
It’s just been way too long.
The First Croissants
5) Who Invented French Croissants?
No one knows for sure who invented the modern-day French croissant recipe, so it&rsquos a tricky question to answer. However, it&rsquos a commonly accepted belief that the croissant is based on the Kipfel or Kipferl, a popular Austrian breakfast staple shaped like a crescent moon, which can be traced to the 13th century maybe even further back.
But that&rsquos only half the truth.
While it may be true that the croissant is an adaptation of the plainer, more bread-like Austrian Kipfer, somewhere along the way, the recipe changed, which gave birth to a buttery, flaky, leavened puff pastry the world now knows as a French croissant.
You could say that the Kipfel is the grandfather of the croissant.
Throughout much of central Europe and nearby countries, the Kipferl is known by different names, usually crescent or twist in that country&rsquos language.
- KIPFEL and KIPFERL: Austria and Germany
- CHIFLA: Romania
- KIFLI: Hungary
- KIFLA: Serbo-Croatian
- GIPFEL: Swiss German (the Swiss Gipfel tastes more like a croissant than a Kipfel, but the names are very similar)
6) How did the Kipferl become a French Croissant?
August Zang (1807 &ndash 1888) is credited with popularizing the Kipfer in France: The grandfather of the croissant.
In 1838, August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, journalist and entrepreneur from Vienna, opened an upscale Viennese bakery in Paris at 92, Rue de Richelieu, where he sold bread and pastries from his homeland.
August Zang didn&rsquot invent the Kipfel, but he is credited with popularizing the Kipfel and other Viennese bread and pastries from his homeland thanks to his knack for marketing.
He created newspaper ads and elaborate window displays that attracted wealthy Parisians who flocked to his bakery, searching for his Viennese bread and pastries. They were flakier and moister than what French people were accustomed to at the time thanks to his patented Viennese steam oven, which became a standard in French bakeries.
Then around 1849, ten years after Zang introduced the Austrian Kipfel to France, censorship was lifted in Austria, so he returned to Vienna to found Die Presse, a daily newspaper that still exists today.
Despite his short 10 year stint running his bakery in France, August Zang had already left his mark on French baking methods. By the time he left, there were already a dozen or so copycat bakeries across Paris trying to cash in on the popularity of Viennese bread, pastries and, of course, the crescent-shaped Austrian Kipfel, which people soon started calling croissants thanks to its shape. (source).
7) The first croissants tasted nothing like they do today.
Despite the switch in the name after Zang left France in 1849 from the Austrian German name &ldquoKipfel&rdquo to the French word &ldquocroissant,&rdquo the croissant still tasted more like a bread roll than the crunchy and light croissant we know today. After all, form alone does not make a croissant. That&rsquos because the Kipfel/croissant recipe hadn&rsquot changed yet.
It would be years before that happened.
8) The first known modern-day French croissant recipe wasn&rsquot created until the early 1900s.
Although the French croissant began as the Austrian&ndashViennese kipfel, it became a uniquely French innovation only when French bakers and pastry chefs tinkered with the Kipfel recipe and replaced the brioche type dough with leavened puffed pastry dough (Pâte levée feuilletée ).
This leavened puff pastry dough can only be achieved by laminating the dough (tourage in French), which gives French croissants their unique buttery flavour and flaky texture and differentiates it from the Austrian Kipfel.
The precise date when the recipe changed isn&rsquot known, but the first documented mention of a croissant recipe using yeasted puff pastry dough instead of brioche dough first appeared in 1905 or 1906 in a French cookbook, roughly 65 years after Zang first introduced the Kipfel to France. The name of the book was Colombie&rsquos &ldquoNOUVELLE ENCYCLOPEDIE CULINAIRE. Cuisine et Patisserie Bourgeoises conserves de menage.&rdquo
In 1915, ten years after the first croissant recipe was published using yeasted puff pastry dough, French pastry chef Sylvain Claudius Goy also wrote and published a croissant recipe that replaced the brioche dough with a leavened puff pastry dough in his book titled &ldquoLa cuisine anglo-américaine,&rdquo Anglo American cuisine.
9) The croissant didn&rsquot become a traditional breakfast food in France until after the 1920s
By the 1920s, 80 years after August Zang introduced the Austrian Kipfel to France, the croissant had become very successful. By the 1950s, a little over 100 years after Zang brought the Austrian Kipferl to Paris, the croissant had become a part of a traditional French breakfast for all classes (not just the rich) and one of the symbols of France known worldwide.
The rest is history, which you can read about in the book &ldquoAugust Zang and the French Croissant- How Viennoiserie came to France.&rdquo Written by Jim Chevallier, a food historian who has been cited in &ldquoThe New Yorker,&rdquo &ldquoThe Smithsonian,&rdquo and the French newspapers &ldquoLe Figaro,&rdquo among other publications.