Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cupcakes from Brussels

Maybe the world needs to take its cupcake cues from Brussels?

Have you ever seen such beautiful confections?

Or witnessed such creative concoctions?

Lilicup's Stracciatella: vanilla cake with vanilla icing, hiding a chocolate ganache center, as teased by the shards of chocolate shavings…

Lovely carrot cake, and simple vanilla.

Naturally, I got Le Parrain. It had me at “Nutella.”

But the creamy vanilla frosting and chocolaty rice krispie topping sealed the deal.

I can tell you very few cupcakes from New York or Paris stack up…

The chocolate was awesome, but I dream about these cupcakes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A sampling from Dominique Ansel

I held out three long weeks before sampling the newest kouign amann in the city.

Friday morning was Breakfast Club with Bennie. We had heard about the perfectly petite egg sandwiches at Soho newcomer Dominique Ansel, which was enough to get us to eschew Peels or Morandi.

And while I wouldn’t turn my nose up at this billowy sandwich smothered in melted Gruyère... clearly took a back seat to the sweets.

Ansel is a former pastry chef at Daniel and Fauchon. Though extremely pricey, his viennoiseries are to die for.

Dominique's Kouign Amanns (DKAs), for example, are the most buttery baked bits you will ever put in your mouth, made chewy and sweet from caramelized sugar.

And the almond croissants are heavy hitters, laden with marzipan and dusted with slabs of sugary crumble and almond slivers.

A brilliant way to begin the day. And clearly...

... the place where I’ll go to pretend I’m in Paris once in awhile.