Sugar Rush: Kouign Amann at Bouchon Bakery
If New York is becoming a kouign amann town, I'm all in favor.
Let's take a step back, as this is still a pastry making inroads into the croissant-dominated American market. A kouign amann is similar to a croissant, with laminated dough folded over itself, lubricated by layers of butter in between. But where the croissant is more about light puffs, the kouign amann favors density: a more intense buttery flavor and texture with a dark caramelized crust thanks to a roll in some sugar. Think of it as a croissant raised to the doughnut power.
With Bouchon Bakery's rendition ($4.75), midtown has a kouign amann to call its own. Ed discovered it in the Time Warner Center location's pastry case; it hasn't made its way over to Rockefeller Center quite yet. Though it's relatively new, I'd call it one of Bouchon's stronger pastries: especially dense with a restrained sweetness inside and a crackly crisp on the caramelized crust. Bite in and you're hit with enough butter to give you pause. Take this pastry slow.
If you've seen other kouign amanns of note in town, let us know. We think a tasting might be in order.