I am constantly amazed how pastry chefs continue to come up with new sweets that, despite using the same ingredients of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, etc., look totally new. The Bun Chika Bun Bun ($5) from Dessertclub Chikalicious is a great example. It looks like a simple choux pastry. But it actually has three components, each with their own distinct texture, resulting in one very satisfying pastry.
The heart of the Bun Chika Bun Bun is a large, crisp choux puff, some of the crunchiest, most delicious in the city, served steaming hot. The choux sits on a dense and buttery speculoos cookie. The brittle speculoos adds an even heartier crunch to the mix.
Inside the hollow choux sits a small pool of cinnamon butter that permeates the pastry during the baking process. The butter doesn't make the speculoos cookie or choux soft. Instead, the resulting experience is like a melting pat of butter on a perfectly baked brioche—except in this case it's a crunchy choux puff.
Chikalicious co-owner Don Tillman explained how they came up with the Bun Chika Bun Bun. Both Don and co-owner Chika Tillman fly frequently on Delta Airlines. And as anyone who flies Delta knows, they give out small packages of Belgian Biscoff speculoos cookies. Don and Chika were fascinated by these cookies with their dense but crunchy texture. They subsequently spent more than three months trying to create their own version of the cookie before settling on a recipe.
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