Since it’s opening in November 2011, Dominique Ansel Bakery has garnered much attention and a loyal customer base for its whimsical desserts and constant innovative approach to pastries and desserts – so much that Dominique Ansel himself is often referred to as the Willy Wonka of New York City. And perhaps there’s nothing that better encapsulates this than a humble pastry that has swept the culinary world by storm, the Cronut.
At any given morning, rain or shine, there’s a line of customers waiting outside Dominique Ansel Bakery hoping for a taste of the Cronuts. Globalisation and fast paced environments might mean that some food trends are short lived, however given its been over 20 months since this croissant-doughnut hybrid was introduced, it seems that the Cronut has developed its own staying power. The flavour changes monthly (currently Matcha Golden Pineapple), with dreamy concoctions including the likes of Apple Creme Fraiche and Salted Dulce de Leche.
Following the success of the cronut, Dominique Ansel has been continually focusing on developing new creations for the menu. Such items include the cookie shot glass served with vanilla milk and freshly torched frozen S’mores. In addition to these creations, the menu also boasts a range of savoury selections, with the likes of parsnip cauliflower soup and pear butternut squash walnut salad.
The Cronut experience
On the recommendation of the website, we arrived at the bakery at 7am on a weekday and there were about 20-30 people in line – a few tourists but mainly locals. Given the bakery opens at 8am, we were treated to some light refreshments in the interim to keep us warm (and sane), including freshly baked madeleines and hot apple cider. Everything seemed fairly quick from then on and we eventually got let in through the second round of customers at 8.30am.
The Cronut flavour of the month was Spiced Pumpkin Chai, perfect for Halloween. It’s certainly not one of the more conventional flavours offered however I found the combination of flavours (and the sprinkling of maple sugar) a pleasant surprise. Flavours aside, the first thing that strikes me about the Cronut itself is how light it is. It’s soft, not greasy or incredibly flaky with the texture resembling more of a doughnut than a croissant. Overall, it’s a delicious, decadent pastry and certainly something worth trying however if you aren’t keen on lines – there’s many other options. Luckily for the late risers, the cookie shot glass is offered after 3pm.
The cronut line outside the bakery on a Thursday morning
‘Paris to New York’ – Choux pastry filled with chocolate, caramel and peanut butter. Just like a snickers bar.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring St
New York, NY 10012