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pastry

Pastry Favorite: Kouign Amann

25 June 2017

“I feel like I need something crunchy” was a refrain I heard frequently from my father growing up. For him, a meal was complete when there was some degree of crunch or crackle. When it didn’t, he’d seek it out, rummaging through the cabinet for a handful of nuts or pretzels, some crispy granola or a hard cookie studded with any manner of delicious filling that I’d invariably snatch away from him. Having evidently inherited this penchant, the almost ineffable need for crunch is something I understand intimately. It’s as much about the sensation the sound produces as the taste of the food itself. When I moved to Paris ten years ago and followed my belly around the city to assess the breadth of the bread and pastry offering (sweets first, savory second), the crunch-friendly options were legion but not created equal. As far as breakfast pastries went, I was team-croissant until I had my first, awe-inspiring experience with a still little-known Breton pastry called the Kouign Amann. The two are similar insofar as they both are prepared from laminated dough and a liberal layering of butter, but the KA is denser and, most importantly, crispier throughout thanks to the […]…

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Paris Pastry Concept Store: Fou de Pâtisserie

9 May 2016

Short of wine and cheese, little is as tied to France as pastry and in Paris, the options are legion. In between  simple, everyday neighborhood bakeries all across town are the haute outposts for some of the country’s most beloved talents – many with multiple shops to their name. So with such cultural value bestowed on sweets and the savoir faire required to make them, you would think (or at least, I always thought) there would be a one-stop shop in the city to access a variety of them. I adore Jonathan Blot’s cakes at his bakery-tea salon called Acide but it’s in Batignolles (17th arrondissement) and not a quick trip from my home. Pillowy Madeleines by Gilles Marchal are truly divine but I’ll only indulge if I find myself in Montmartre where is sole shop is located. And as much as I love the tartes, chocolates and financiers of Hugues Pouget at his boutique Hugo & Victor, it’s clear across town. Creating a central location for some of the best treats the city has to offer was the abiding mission of Julie Mathieu and Muriel Tallandier, editors of the pastry bi-monthly magazine Fou de Pâtisserie (for which I am a […]…

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