In a nondescript shopping mall, just past a plastic bottle recycling station, in Jackson Heights, Queens, lies one of the best French bakeries in New York. We've made this claim before about Cannelle Patisserie, but a recent visit confirmed that they haven't lost any of their magic touch.
Nearly everything in the bakery is good (especially their viennoiserie items) but chocolate pastry lovers should try the decadent and beautiful Praline Crunch ($4).
The pretty rectangular pastry starts with a base of dark chocolate cake with the texture of a compressed brownie. The next and main layer is a semisweet chocolate ganache filled with plenty of crunchy puffed rice bits. A smooth milk chocolate mousse tops things off along with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Make sure to snag all three layers in one forkful—soft mousse, dark chocolate cake, and airy crunch all balance each other out. It's pure chocolate bliss, with nothing to dilute the experience, a great deal at $4—especially considering it's big enough to share.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.