Today we continue to go through the sweet side of the menu of Dominique Ansel Bakery. Go here for part I.
Paris-New York: Mr Ansel’s take on Paris-Brest features a split ring of choux pastry filled with chocolate ganache, peanut butter ganache, peanut butter cream, and caramel. If the Mini-Me cake is a chocolate lover’s dream, then the Paris-New York is for peanut butter lovers. The pastry is light and is used primarily as a (GDS) -that’s a ganache delivery system. Why order it? If you like peanut butter and dark chocolate it’s a no brainer. Ansel on the Paris-New York “a twist on the Paris-Brest, a pate a choux pastry usually filled with hazelnut cream. I call mine the Paris-New York and used chocolate, caramel, and peanuts as my flavors. Can you tell where I got my inspiration from? It’s the ingredients you’ll find inside a Snicker’s bar, my favorite candy bar.”
Cinnamon Roll: Why anyone would order a cinnamon roll at DAB is beyond me. Not that it wasn’t tasty because it was. It’s just that with so many other incredible pastries to choose from, only the most unadventurous and very risk-averse should even consider this. Allowances made for children (or adults) who are obsessed with cinnamon rolls (I’m sure there’s a website somewhere). Note to the Cinnamon Roll Association: please don’t send letters. Why order it? Hmm, I guess to see how one of best pastry chefs in NYC makes a cinnamon roll?
Gâteau Battu: The gateau battu is like a giant slice of brioche. Anything that would taste good on a plain brioche would be perfect on top of the gateau–jelly, butter, peanut butter, etc. The flavor and texture remind me a little of a less sweet challah bread. Why order it? You need a break from all the sweet but aren’t ready to admit you are moving on to savory. Ansel on the Gâteau Battu: “similar to a brioche, but much lighter and fluffier, from my hometown of Picardy. You bake it in a mold that looks like a chef’s hat, so it’s a very signature shape.”
Pain Au Chocolat: Perhaps no other pastry is as an important barometer of the class of a French baker then the Pain Au Chocolate. The good news is Mr. Ansel’s are superb. They are thin on the chocolate content but have a perfect and beautiful-to-look-at, spiraled crust. I guess there must be something about Spring Street–currently the street with the two best pain au chocolats and croissants in NYC. Why order it? This is one thing you can purchase day after day!
Other items – Macarons: The macarons from DAB are quite good. I recommend the lemon and the chocolate. Unlike some other bakeries he makes them in small amounts and if they run out, that’s it! This is preferable to making tons of them and keeping them for days until the unpopular flavors get stale.
Mini-Me’s: The flavored meringue drops that dot some of the pastry are also available separately. I recommend the peppermint, lemon or blueberry. These would make a great party or wedding favor. Ansel on the Mini-Me’s: “Then there are some little creations of my own. I love the Mini-Me’s. They are short for “Miniature Meringues” and come in lots of colors and flavors. What’s fun is that there are at least 8 ways to eat them: add them into hot chocolate, drop them into breakfast cereal, use them as ice cream toppings, the list goes on.”
Hazelnut Brittle: Another great stocking stuffer. The hazelnuts in this brittle are incredibly flavorful. Note: If you decide to buy this as a gift it’s best to purchase two so you can eat one on the way home.
Rice Crispy: Like Jacques Torres’ corn flakes this sure-to-please gift uses Valrhona Caramelia–a milk chocolate caramel delicacy.
I asked Mr Ansel what signature product his bakery will be known for in 5 years? Ansel: “I don’t know. New Yorkers will have to tell me! So much work goes into every product that comes out of the kitchen – even the savory sandwiches is carefully sampled and tweaked. They are all my children – how can I play favorites?
Also check out Blondie and Brownie’s “Eating everything at Dominique Ansel Bakery“.