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Posts Tagged ‘Bouley Bakery’

Admittedly, New York City doesn’t have much street cred when it comes to dessert. Old world capitals like Paris, Brussels and even Rome may stick up their noses at this scrappy contender, perhaps citing that its purported piece de resistance happens to be a too-sugary but still tasty (yea, I said it, got a problem with that?) cupcake from a not-to-be-named bakery featured on a shall-go-anonymous primetime television show. I say ptooey! to all that. Those who know its sweet spots know that the city is awash with amazing cafes, patisseries, bakeries and even delicatessens serving up near-perfect iterations of both European and classically American treats.

I didn’t plan on taking a sweets tour around the city yesterday–it was a bone-chilling 20 degrees outside, after all; the whole thing just, well, sorta happened! Really! Here are the results:

First Stop: Bouley Bakery

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Clockwise from left: chestunt macaron, white chocolate macaron, chocolate macaron; all from Bouley Bakery

I’ve become a sort of macaron fiend. There’s something about the combined texture of the crispy cookie and the decadent ganache that I find irresistible. Also, they just feel fancy when you eat them; the components are all so delicate. These Bouley Bakery ones were lovely: the flavors were unique (well, except for just plain chocolate), each macaron had just the right amount of ganache filling and the cookie was fresh, light and airy. Also, the filling wasn’t American-sweet, it was a reserved European sweet. The gold and silver dusting on the chocolate and white chocolate macarons, respectively, added to the regal decadence of these French treats. They seem to be almost as much about the appearance as they are the taste. Staple colors like cotton-candy pink and spring green are meant to make a statement. (Yea, I know, I so got the boring colors.)

Second Stop: Jacques Torres Chocolate

Jacques Torres's yummy hot chocolate

Jacques Torres's yummy hot chocolate

This is seriously one of the best dessert deals in town. The other day, I paid $3 for some dinky hot chocolate at a local-yet-generic Brooklyn cafe. For only 25 cents more, you can purchase a bit of heaven in a cup at Jacques Torres Chocolate on Hudson street. This hot chocolate coats your throat, sort of like cough syrup, but really, not at all. It’s a warmth-all-over sort of coating. I love the classic, but try the caramel, orange or wicked (a chili-flavored version) if you’re feeling at all adventurous.

Third Stop: Russ & Daughters

a must-visit

Russ & Daughters: a must-visit

Russ & Daughters interior

Russ & Daughters interior

Note to guidebook-wielding tourists from Europe: if you are planning a visit to venerable appetizing outpost Russ & Daughters, don’t just look around. Please, I implore you, try something! These kinds of places are meant to be sampled not toured! Russ & Daughters has been around forever and is a go-to place for Kosher-style appetizing like lox, white fish, herring, beet salad, chopped liver and the like. It also just happens to have some of the best desserts in the area. Their chocolate babka is perfection for the carb-and-sugar-obsessed and their rugelach is a richly nuanced combination of bittersweet chocolate, orange marmalade and walnuts.

Listings:

Bouley Market (Bakery is inside)
120 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Telephone: (212) 791-1722

Jacques Torres Chocolate
350 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (212) 414-2462

Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
Telephone: (212) 475-4880

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