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Archive for February, 2013

Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry

We receive all kinds of cookbooks at DessertBuzz worldwide headquarters from the practical, to big, showy, coffee-table-style books.  What I have observed over the years is that it’s very unusual for a book to stand out and separate itself from the pack.  Books that have incredible 14″ x 14″ color photos on every page look good in the living room but are often impractical to use in the kitchen or thin on details and guidance.  Conversely, books with tons of copy but no photos are frankly, not that much fun.  This new (hot pink) volume from Rizzoli seems to score big on both style and substance.  That’s why we think this is the second book we have reviewed in the last 3 months that’s certain become part of the cannon of classic pastry reference books. (more…)

As New Yorkers, we all know this city can be trying.  From sky-high rents, to subway “experiences” that never cease to amaze.  Why do we put up with it?  For the good bagels?  Maybe.  I know one of the reasons, especially for the food-obsessed, is access. And I’m not just talking about access to hundreds of great restaurants, but also to the talent that they employ.  NYC has a number of culinary schools as well as tons of food shows like the NY Wine and Food Show and they all feature demo sessions allowing you access to the best chefs around.  After covering these events for years without being an active participant, I decided it was time to starting taking advantage of all this city has to offer.


Bien Cuit Bakery Part II: Damn that’s good bread

Posted by Niko on February 18th, 2013

Perfect crust: Bien Cuit's Rye & Sunflower bread

Two weeks ago I wrote about Bien Cuit’s pastries because I thought they were  the main reason to visit them.  Now that some time has passed I find myself having cravings for their breads–not their sweets.  So I headed back for a third visit with one goal in mind: try more of their breads.  They did not disappoint!   As luck would have it owner/baker Zack Golper was there and took some time to chat with us. (more…)

Daniel Executive Pastry Chef Sandro Micheli's take on a candy bar

I recently found this video we shot of Daniel Executive Pastry Chef Sandro Micheli at the Top 10  Pastry Chef Award ceremony.  This chocolate-centric plate was one of my favorite pastries of the night.  It looks deceivingly involved although it looks simple.  He says it was inspired by a childhood candy bar memory.  Enjoy!

More coverage of the Top 10 Pastry Chef Awards: 2012 part I and 2102 Part II,  20112010.  Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter for all your NYC Pastry news.  Daniel’s website is here.

Bisous Ciao: still a DessertBuzz favorite

Posted by Niko on February 5th, 2013

This is why people like receiving macarons as a gift!

On our recent “best of NYC” dessert crawl one of the places everyone was in agreement on visiting for macarons was Bisous Ciao. This summer they opened up a more accessible (to me at least) location in the Village on Bleecker Street just west of 6th Ave.

Two things that set Bisous apart from the rest of the macaron pack are 1)  their macarons are always fresh and 2) their flavors, both buttercream and ganache, are full and distinct from each other.  Other bakeries often have one or two trademark flavors but the rest taste surprisingly similar!  Their citrus flavors in particular are really in their own class.  When you have  a lemon macaron from Bisous you can really taste the lemon. (more…)

A twice-baked (with brandy the 2nd time) chocolate almond croissant

Whenever I find myself back in the neighborhoods where I grew up, Chelsea and the West Village, I often feel like they’ve lost a lot of their character.  I know this is not an original thought.  In the Village, where I would hang every day after school since that’s where my friends all lived, the cobblestoned streets, artists’ studios and coffee shops are nearly extinct.  In their place are banks, Duane Reades and big shiny glass-encased condos.

I know this kind of change is inevitable but in my most cynical moments, I fear there will never be another new small, independent business here.  That’s why I’m always excited to see a cool shop like Bien Cuit’s new Christopher St. location.  The fact that it’s a bakery makes it even better. (more…)