If you don't live in New York City and you have taste buds that are anything like ours, then chances are you're vying desperately for a Cronut. What is a Cronut, you may ask? It's a doughnut-croissant hybrid, developed by Dominique Ansel, that has swept New York City into a sugar rush. While you might not be able to wait in that extravagant line for a chance to purchase two cream-filled Cronuts, you can peruse this photo album to see extreme close-ups of the man, the bakery, and the Cronut-making process itself.
What happens when you combine tangy cream-cheese-flecked pastry dough with a dollop of cherry-almond filling? Magic — pure magic. Rolled together into a charming shape reminiscent of a crescent roll, these addictive pastries are almost like a doughier handheld cherry pie, though really they're in a class all by themselves.
Two warnings: first off, these are not the sort of treat you whip up at a moment's notice. Make certain to devote a lazy afternoon to the process, though they're hardly as involved as homemade petit fours or a laminated-dough pastry like a danish. Secondly, make more than you think you'll need, even if that means doubling the recipe, as it's near-impossible to devour just one. (If doubling, make two separate batches of the dough, though the filling can be doubled to no ill effect.) Otherwise, enjoy!
Rejoice, Top Chef: Just Desserts fans! Season one winner Yigit Pura has a new San Francisco patisserie, Tout Sweet, opening this Saturday, Sept. 8. Billed as a French patisserie inspired by Northern California produce, this très chic pastry shop is sure to tempt all but the most stalwart sweets-averse. For those of you living outside the SF Bay Area, don't fret: chef Pura is currently penning a cookbook titled Sweet Alchemy, due out next Fall, and has plans for eventual nationwide expansion.
Liberté, egalité, fraternité: Happy (almost) Bastille Day! Tomorrow marks the anniversary of France's national holiday, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which began the French Revolution. While Parisians celebrate with fireworks and parades, I'll be starting my day off on the right foot with a pain au chocolat and a café au lait (and ending it with a glass of Burgundy or Beaujolais, no doubt). I thought it'd be fun to entice you with a number of pastry fun facts. Do you know much about these buttery baked goods, or are you just good at enjoying them? Find out when you take this quiz!
Source: Flickr User Let Ideas CompeteTake the Quiz
Perhaps it's the rainbow of cheerful hues, the adorable two-bite size, or — most likely — the perfect crisp-chewy texture, but I just can't get enough of French macarons. Even when I'm stuffed to the gills, I can always make room for these tiny, delicate pastries.
True, macarons can be temperamental (meringue is the capricious culprit), but they do respond wonderfully to patience, encouragement, and a loving touch. So before you dismiss the idea of making these little lovelies at home, we've found a basic recipe that breaks down the uncooperative veneer of the elusive macaron.
Although part of the same happy pastry family, the French macaron should not be confused with the coconut macaroon. They are similar in concept, but differ greatly in execution: while both entail adding dry ingredients to a delicate egg white meringue, the one "o" macaron uses finely ground almonds as its base and requires much more gentle handling.
Much like a first date, there's a good chance that your first batch could end awkwardly. As in love, you simply pick yourself up and try again. Once you begin to understand the macaron's nature — its singular texture, its response to your oven, its personality in your climate — suddenly it's like the realization that you both enjoy the same rom-com movies and takeout Chinese: everything just works.
Ready for the challenge? Read on for the recipe.
Lately, I've been seeing towers of cream puffs, or croquembouches, appearing all over the place, particularly in bridal magazines or on wedding blogs. The croquembouche is most certainly a delicious trend – we had one at our wedding and it was quite a hit! — but these magnificent sweet sculptures are more complicated than they may appear. To get an inside look at how these profiterole towers are made, I reached out to Gerhard and Mary Michler, the driving force behind Gerhard Michler Fine European Pastries and Creative International Pastries, in San Francisco.
Gerhard first started baking at age 17 in his native Austria, so it's safe to say he knows a bit about French pastry. Michler chalks the growing cream puff tower trend up to the fact that people seem to want to see new things these days, and that a croquembouche (also known as a pièce montée) is an exciting conversational piece. For more on this amazing French dessert sculpture, keep reading.
After all that holiday baking, Christmas tree decorating, and edible gifting, there's little to do during the holiday season besides besides hang out with loved ones. Get into the holiday spirit by trying to match the yuletide dish to its area of origin. How well do you know your holiday pastries? There's only one way to find out.
Source: Flickr User Matthew BietzTake the Quiz
Happy Fat Tuesday! Don't you wish this plate of beignets were real rather than just a picture? Dice215 shared the image in the Savory Sights group in the YumSugar Community.
Freshly made vanilla bean beignets with warm chocolate fudge sauce on the side.
Empanadas would make the ideal stranded-on-a-desert-island staple. They freeze well, are great for using up leftovers, and are as suited to the beginner as they are the expert. But best of all, they can be filled with just about anything, so they shouldn't be overlooked as both a convenient finger food and an unexpected dessert.Make the cleanup easier than ever for your next fiesta by serving up fried beef-and-egg empanadas to whet your guests' appetites — then creating a baked banana version to close out the night. There'll be no forks or spoons necessary! Want either (or both) recipes? Just read more.