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Archive for the 'Financier patisserie' Category

Bisous Ciao had the NYC macaron crown for almost 2 years

I updated this post because I received a very comprehensive comment from a reader about NYC macarons.

Reader “Elle”: (more…)

New York foodies and macarons: A match made in almond flour

Posted by Niko on September 20th, 2011

Bisous Ciao had the NYC macaron crown for almost 2 years

Why is it so important for New Yorkers to know what other people think is “the best”?   With the opening of Laduree in New York City there has been a considerable amount of macaron hype, most of it around how superior their macarons are to everything else. Last week I finally got to try about eight of them (thank you Doctore) and I can safely say they are the best this city has to offer right now.  They feature perfect buttercream, super-soft almond flour cookie shell and insanely strong flavors–despite flying 3600 miles from Paris every day!   (more…)

Financier Patisserie’s excellent macarons

Posted by Niko on January 26th, 2011

Financier patisserie large macarons

Last week I posted about Panya’s huge $1.50 macarons and noted that they tasted fine but sometimes seemed a bit stale.  A friend, who is an accomplished baker, pointed out in the comments that Finacier Patisserie, who generally makes excellent french pastries, also sells large sized macarons for only $2.25, a price well below the NYC average (about $2.25 for a 1.5″ cookie). In an effort to actually provide some useful information to my readers I decided to investigate. (more…)

The best chocolate cake in the world: actually, no.

Posted by Niko on June 22nd, 2010

The best chocolate cake in the world?

Editor’s note: DessertBuzz dispatched their top team to Spring St. for opening weekend of The World’s Best Chocolate Cake to see if it could live up to it’s name.  And in an effort to offer as many informed opinions as possible this will be a “team” review, with a special guest writing the main copy and my comments in brackets.

Anyone claiming, let alone branding their store , “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World.” is inviting assessment.  Maybe even criticism.  It’s hard to imagine something, anything, being the ‘Best Chocolate Cake in the World”; with all the various tastes, preferences, options, moods and moments in life, how could anything be so?  The truth is that it can’t, and to assess or criticize “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World” using this standard seems not only unfair but misplaced.  [Misplaced or not, we’re going to criticize if criticism is warranted.  This is New York City and people want to know if they should drop $6.50 on this thing].

The 70% version

Let start with the good:

The store is tasteful and considered – ‘styled’ – and perhaps a bit self conscious.  The staff is nice, if a bit overwhelmed by the small footprint.  The clientele, curious and expectant  [the customers were tourists and recent transplants – basically the same people who line up for the Magnolia Bakery].  The cake, in two varieties, 55% cocoa, semi sweet ‘traditional’ and 70% cocoa bittersweet can only be visually differentiated by the fact that the ‘traditional’ slightly shinier and maybe a bit lighter in color [They both looked identical to me. I bet if we distracted the servers and switched the cakes like the drinking contest episode of Gilligan’s Island they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.]

Both cakes are nice looking and inviting; chocolate ganache overflowing and dripping over layers of flaky meringue. In between the layers of meringue is a mousse that is darker and soft.- I was salivating at the sight of them.    Maybe this thing has potential after all?


Believe it or not there are still more baked goods to talk about from my multiple trips to Francois Chocolate Bar.   According to Wikipedia a financier is a small French cake, often mistaken for a pastry.  In this case,  it’s actually a light-ish teacake made with almond flour.  It tastes like an ultra-fancy brownie with a unique chocolate-almond flavor.  It isn’t too buttery or too sweet either.    I also noticed that it keeps well compared to other baked goods as it was still decent a day later.

Recommended: chocolate financier, a steal at $3.50

Francois chocolate bar is located at 714 Madison Avenue on the 4th floor of Mauboussin.

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.

I know it’s blasphemy to suggest that anyone could fill Francois Payard’s (I’d imagine) very large shoes but Financier Patisserie, despite having 5 locations as of this week, comes pretty damn close in many areas.  In the fancy pants >$5 pastry department I don’t believe it has more than one or two peers in NYC.

One of the best things they offer is their chocolate mousse cake.  This is a pastry that shows of the skills of its creator.  It involves an almond macaroon base, a chocolate ganache vein, a chocolate biscuit and a dark chocolate glaze.  I have purchased this at different times from at least 3 of their locations and each time it tasted like it was just made.  Not overly sweet with great texture from all the different layers.  If you want to see one whole, go here.

Their Sacher Torte at $3.75 is actually (I can’t believe I am writing this) a great value considering how involved it is.

I also highly recommend Financier’s version of the Opera (Coffee flavored buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate soaked cake with dark chocolate glaze).

Thanks to Midtown Lunch for tipping me off to their new Midtown West location (6th Ave between 47 and 48th).