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World class canneles from Dominique Ansel Bakery

The recent trend in New York City restaurants and bakeries is to offer one thing and (hopefully) do it really well.  See Puddin’ on St. Marks.  But what if a bakery opens up and kills it in multiple categories?  Well, after my third visit I have even more conviction that Dominique Ansel Bakery is the best new bakery in Manhattan in a long time.  They have a number of best-in-class pastry from the canneles to the kouign amann (dubbed the next big thing by pastry chef and instructor Francisco Migoya) to special eclairs.  Let’s take a walk through the sweet side of the menu.

Kouign amann from Dominique Ansel Bakery

Kouign Amann: Confession time for the editor.  I had never heard of a “kouign amann” before September when Ansel and some other high-credibility chefs started talking about them at his bakery.  I’ve now eaten two or three so I consider myself an expert (I kid!) You don’t need 17 years of pasty experience to know when you taste something special.  Here’s a video of  Ansel in action creating the pastry. The best description of what a Kouign Amann is can be found on David Lebovitz’s blog.  Why order it? Because it’s like a great croissant with a “perfectly-caramelized melange of butter, sugar, and salt” and in the words of David Byrne nothing is better than that.

Special addition black and white eclair with dual fillings

Black and White Eclair: Dominique Ansel in not from New York but he shows he has learned a bit about what New Yorkers’ like by offering a classic French pastry that evokes the iconic NYC black and white cookie.  The glaze is half dark chocolate and half white chocolate and one side of the éclair is filled with chocolate cream, the other with vanilla cream.

Inside the black and white eclair

The thing about eclairs is that I suspect most people have never tried a really good one.  I have memories of  the eclairs they sold at Twin Donut in New York in the early 80’s.  This is a place where on any given day there might be three homeless guys sharing a cruller and smoking cigarettes at their table.  Why order it? There are only 1 or two other places in NYC to get an eclair this good.

Canneles: Crispy on the outside custardy on the inside

Canneles: Without a doubt the best I have tasted in NYC.  They feature a dark, crisp and perfectly caramelized exterior and a  super-moist interior.  The custard-like-inside has plenty of flavor too owing to the liberal use of  rum in the recipe.  Read more about canneles along with some great photos here.  Why order it? Transport yourself to Bordeaux for only $3.

Mini me dark chocolate cake

Mini-Me Chocolate Cake: With all due respect to Verne Troyer this is the best incarnation of Mini-me.   The “Mini Me” meringue-topped chocolate cake is served from a case but it might as well be a made-to-order plated dessert.  It has a perfect blend of flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and a dark chocolate glaze.  Toasted meringue “mini-me” twists on top (available for purchase separately)  finish off the dessert.  Despite all the chocolate it’s still  not too sweet!  Why order it? If you’re a chocolate lover–stop contemplating and get it.

Visit us again tomorrow for Part II: Paris-New York, Gâteau Battu, and an interview with the man himself.

Paris New York

Dominique Ansel Bakery is located on 189 Spring Street (Sullivan).  Their website is here.

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11 Responses to “Return to Dominique Ansel Bakery Part I: Kouign amann, canneles, more”

I was in New York not long ago and had the good fortune to stop by Dominique Ansel’s shop which had only been open a couple of weeks. The kouing amann is just delicious, the mini-me meringues are adorable and the all-weather terrace in the back is a beautiful oasis of calm…

Mayssam, Yes, the all-weather terrace is the best kept secret (!)

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[…] Ansel Bakery is located on 189 Spring Street (Sullivan).  Their website is here.  More coverage of DAB on Dessertbuzz.  Don’t forget to followDessertbuzz on […]

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