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Archive for December, 2009

Warm up in Flatiron: L.A. Burdick hot chocolate

Posted by Niko on December 10th, 2009

A friend of mine who I believe holds a black belt in New York City food knowledge recently introduced me to L.A. Burdick in Flatiron.  This small, chocolate-centric pastry café is a great alternative to Manhattan’s axis of popular hot chocolate evil of City Bakery, Jacques Torres and Grom.

What I really like about L.A. Burdick’s dark hot chocolate, and what sets it apart from it’s peers is the quality of the chocolate and the level of sweetness. It’s got just the right amount of sweet, which to me, means very little. The house blend is about 68-70% cacao and is very flavorful.  It felt like drinking my favorite 72% Dagoba chocolate bar.  They also make their hot chocolate standard with 1% milk (you can ask for whole) which means the hot chocolate itself is very “drinkable” rather than sludge-like, as it is at City Bakery or Jacques Torres.  People who really like their hot chocolate super thick and heavy, essentially, a cup melted dark chocolate with sugar, might like this hot chocolate less.

Another difference with their standard hot chocolate is that they don’t cut it with anything, such as peanut butter or hot peppers, to alter the flavor, it’s just straight up high-end dark chocolate.

For people who like their hot chocolate a little more sweet and a little less bitter they offer hot milk chocolate (which I didn’t try) but my host, who is a regular, says is quite popular.  I didn’t get to try any of their pastries or individual chocolates but I did get to try a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate Madeline which was excellent.  All of their pastries are made in-house.  Look for more coverage of L.A Burdick soon.

Recommended: The daily special dark hot chocolate, special, one-of-a-kind chocolate gifts

Go here fore a Google map of their location and here for their website.

With New York still in the grips of a recession you might be tempted to bring a pack of pink colored Hostess snow balls to your next social event.  Instead, why not jack up the class at your next dinner party by throwing down this deep dish apple pie with streusel topping from the ridiculously high brow Financier Patisserie.  It even comes in a classy green box that looks like it came from an expensive  5th Ave. boutique.

This superb creation is almost like a giant apple pastry rather than a traditional apple pie.  It’s not too sweet and the cinnamon-tinged apple filling was very fresh tasting without being too glutenous.  Everyone at the dinner also agreed that the topping was just right – not so sweet that you feel like you are eating burnt sugar but very crisp and tasty.

Heat it up and serve with some serious vanilla ice cream.  Don’t spoil it by buying some cheap vanilla ice cream either.  Instead – hook your guests up with something special like Tahitian Vanilla Ciao Bella or some 5 boroughs rich white vanilla.   Follow these guidelines and I guarantee you will be invited back soon.

Recommended: Apple deep dish pie, individual pastries
Find Financier’s locations are here.