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Archive for October, 2012

Neuhaus launches “Precious” chocolate jewel collection

Posted by Niko on October 30th, 2012

My favorite chocolate "jewel" of the collection, "Glamour" (also George Costanza's favorite!)

Upscale Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus, who has a flagship store at  500 Madison Ave (53rd St.) just launched a new collection called “Precious” (no relation to Gollum!).  These are high-end, boxed chocolates that resemble “precious” gems.  There are five unique jewel-shaped pralines, each with a different flavor.  The “Precious Box”  with 20 pralines, costs $50. (more…)

Francois' Religieuse

After Payard Patisserie and Bistro closed in June of 2009 one of most common topics of conversation among UES food connoisseurs was when and where Payard would open another shop.  On Monday (Oct 29th) they will get there wish when “FP Patisserie” opens to the public.  This shop is very different from the three FPB-branded NYC bakeries.

“This is a Patisserie–maybe [it’s] too French! But it’s very elegant” said Payard. The vibe is super-classy and super elegant, with a large–and striking chandelier with hand-blown glass elements, and comfy leather banquettes in the back “parlor” room.  Payard says the three sections of the shop are meant to evoke three different feelings.  The front of the shop containing the pasty and macaron case is meant to be very modern–the pastry case, for example is a cutting-edge model that opens from the outside with a hydraulic piston to hold the door up.  A special air circulation system keeps temperature and humidity at optimal macaron or pastry levels.  There’s a black glass mirror behind the counter–it’s all very sleek. (more…)

The Apple Marshmallow from Dominique Ansel Bakery $11.50

The special-for-Halloween, Marshmallow Apple from from Dominique Ansel bakery is one pretty cool bit of pastry.  It’s beautiful to look at and fun to eat.  Bring this as a gift to your next Halloween party and your hosts are sure to be grateful.

The apple shape is made from a thin layer of milk chocolate.  The inside contains a very light house-made vanilla marshmallow (made using real vanilla bean).  At the core is soft-but-not-runny pocket of caramel.  The apple costs is $11.50  and comes with a custom see-through plastic gift box.  Read on for more photos. (more…)

Nut-free pumpkin macaron from The Macaron Parlour's new shop

First look: The Macaron Parlour team of  pastry chefs Christina Ha and Simon Tung have opened a bricks and mortar store on 111 St. Marks Place.

I tried a nut-free seasonal pumpkin macaron and felt compelled to report how good it was.  I was expecting some kind of stand-in for a real, almond meal based macaron, but instead I got a 100% legit, 100% gourmet, macaron with no kooky texture or flavor!  It features a dark and white chocolate and pumpkin ganache with pumpkin pie-style spices.  Christina said she “just used ground pumpkins seeds instead of almond  flour”.  It didn’t take her long to nail the recipe–happily noting “It worked pretty well the [very] first time!”  I guess if you study macarons with Pierre Herme you learn a few things!  Who knew?  A full report on my visit to their shop will follow shortly.

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New desserts from Chelsea’s Cookshop

Posted by Niko on October 16th, 2012

Cookies! Peanut butter and Chocolate chip

I stopped by Cookshop for lunch last Friday with a special “guest reviewer” who has some unique qualifications that I don’t possess.  One credential is that his parents owned a restaurant.  And when he was a teenager, he worked there.  The second credential is that he has 35 years on me!  Anyway, he had a lot to say about the coffee (“one of the best cups in the city”) and the desserts (“I really liked the chocolate cake!”).

Chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies: You’re not going to find a better chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie in NYC–Dorie Greenspan and Levain, watch yer backs! (more…)

Friday night was the New York City Wine and Food Festival cupcake-fest “Sweet” event.  This is the only event where you can try desserts from thirty of New York’s top pastry chefs.   Everyone from Le Bernardin to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was there to show off their best “sweet” plates.   I can tell you that there were a lot of cupcakes!  Last year The Doughnut Plant won the fan voting for best of the show with their Creme Brulee doughnut.  This year, Elizabeth Karmel from Hill Country Barbecue Market slayed all with her über-comfort, peanut butter and jelly cupcake.  Read on to see some of our favorite desserts from Sweet. (more…)

More from Bosie Tea Parlor

Posted by Niko on October 10th, 2012

"Eclipse" cake from Bosie Tea Parlor - Dark chocolate cookie with fluer de sel, caramel ganache, dark chocolate sabayon

A few weeks ago I ran a post with some of the great pastry from Damien Herrgott at Bosie Tea Parlor.  Since then I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of other items including “Eclipse”– made with a dark chocolate cookie, fluer de sel, caramel ganache and dark chocolate sabayon.  Worth every bit of the $6.00.  Read more… (more…)