How are those two images related? They are both from Dominique Ansel Bakery, the wonderful sweet spot at 189 Spring Street in SoHo. If you do not live in New York City, a pilgrimage is in order.
The top photo is from the very high tech Japanese equipment providing this immaculate kitchen with the power to support a master team of pastry chefs. That team is led by Dominique, whose career includes seven years [a record] at famed NYC restaurant Daniel and many years at Fauchon in Paris [plus opening Fauchon stores around the world]. Imagine the complexity of opening a Fauchon store in Russia and you can appreciate that Dominique’s skills extend beyond pastry.
Oh, do you know Fauchon? The, the, the food store in Paris. You walk in, you point, you never touch under penalty of banishment, and white gloved attendants carefully pick up and package your goodies. It is about as intimidating as meeting the Pope.
Ansel’s SoHo spot has no intimidation, but it is packed with treats. It’s not just as good as Paris. It is Paris. A block of the 8th transferred west to SoHo.
That bottom picture is a Mini-Me cake. Those are little meringue buds on top of a cake with multiple layers of decadence.
When I first put my fork in one of these cakes — yes, I have had more than one — I knew it would be superb. How? Just the way the fork went through the texture of the cake. A bit of push to penetrate the ganache top, then a gracefully sliding passage through the mouse layers.
Of the five senses, we often think that touch is related to food only when it is in our mouth, and then only in broad terms: soft, hard, …
Actually, your sense of touch can be extended outside of your mouth. You can learn using fork, knife, or spoon what quality is and what textures you may expect to soon delight your mouth. It can be subtle, but if you eat enough mousse, you will learn. You might have to walk off some calories, too. For me, the Bakery is just 0.67 miles from where I live. I assume a walk there and back has to worth at least 2000 calories. Roughly. Approximately.
There is nothing rough or approximate about the Bakery’s treat. There are smooth and distinctively perfect.
Don’t leave without a macron. Or two.