First there were cupcakes, then macarons. Of course both of these “fads” ended up not being fads at all but new food categories in New York with legitimate staying power. During this time, the Doughnut Plant opened a new location in the heart of Chelsea and took top honors by attendees of the 2011 New York Food and Wine Sweet event, beating out a half-dozen cupcakes and a host of NYC’s top pastry chefs. All this just confirms what we many entrepreneurs already know–New York is a city in love with food like no other. And there is always room for the next great idea. Enter Doughnuttery.
To me, Doughnuttery doughnuts are more a distant cousin of macarons than cupcakes–they’re a little more artisanal, a little more novel, I think more of pastry chefs being involved with their creation vs. bakers and most importantly (probably owing to their small size) you can eat a half dozen or so without feeling like a pig.
Right now, Doughnuttery sells two lines of mini-doughnuts, “classic” and “sugared”. Classic consists of cinnamon sugar coated, old fashioned glazed and powdered. The sugared line is really where Doughnuttery breaks new ground. There are twelve different, well-thought-out sugar mixes such as Cherrypop made with sour cherry and ancho chile or Cacaoboy made with cocao nibs, mesquite and black sugar. Hot doughnuts come right off machine and then get the “Shake N’ Bake” treatment in a wax bag, coating them with one of the custom sugar mixes.
You may also purchase special “Dough dips” – these are small containers of dipping sauce designed to go with the sugared doughnuts. I tried about half the sugars and they were surprisingly different from one another–some were tangy and some were even tart. I recommend the Paristime sugar mix along with the Balsamic dip. I also really enjoyed the pumpkin beer caramel dip (They also had a toffee dip).
One of coolest things about Doughnuttery is that every single doughnut sold is made right in the shop, at the counter in front of you. The machine is fun to watch too. After the doughnut is dropped into the oil, a small paddle wheel creates a slight current and the doughnut gently floats down the hot oil path like it’s on some kind of lazy river amusement park ride, before getting flipped over and out into a basket.
It’s not too often that you can see the whole manufacturing process from batter to finished product less than a foot away. I’d imagine kids will love this. NYC Dad: “Hey kids how about a trip to Chelsea market to see the doughnut machine!”
Co-founder Evan Feldman says he was introduced to the world of desserts by his wife’s family who owned a bakery in New York City. “New Yorkers are always looking for something new, something better”. To that end, he teamed up with Katie Rosenhouse, a well-known NYC pastry chef who has worked in the best kitchens in New York. Katie spearheaded the design of the sugar mixes and dips putting considerable thought into flavor matching. When I suggested to Evan that he might employ a sommelier to help customers pair sugars and dips to their tastes, he said ”That would be Katie–that’s [exactly] what she does!”
Sugared doughnuts are $6.00 for half a dozen and $9 for a dozen. The Classics are $5 for half dozen and $8 for a dozen. Dips are a $1.50 and hot cider is $3.00. The Doughnuttery is located in Chelsea Market at 75 9th Ave. (They are in the same area as Jacques Torres) Their Facebook page is here. Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all New York City dessert news.