Foragers City Grocer has started carrying some of its own pastries, to great results.
'pain au chocolat' on Serious Eats
Pain au chocolat—literally "chocolate bread." What an understatement. Buttery croissant dough wrapped around not one, but two sticks of chocolate. An indulgence like this could only come from France. For three days, my intrepid photographer and I scoured the city for pain au chocolat that stand out from the Parisian crowd. In the end, we found 10 that can't be missed.
The croissant (and its cousin, pain au chocolat) embodies of all the techniques I love most in the world of pastry. I find the lamination process, with its series of well-timed folds and turns, challenging, meditative and satisfying. And, on the other hand, I also respect the need for flexibility and the attention that must be paid to a yeasted dough, by adjusting for variables like ingredients and temperatures, for proper dough development and rise. I also love eating them.
Croissants, with their golden brown, crisp exterior and creamy, buttery interior, are always a welcome treat. To make them, you create a yeasted dough, into which you secure a sheet of butter. The flaky layers in the end product are the result of folding the dough many times, a process called lamination. From mixing and proofing, to laminating and resting and shaping, croissants are certainly not a quickie project, but with practice, the results can be amazing.
I was doing it before it was cool. (It's fine, I bet you were too.) Now that plenty of scientific evidence has proved that chocolate can provide some health benefits—in moderation, of course—that doesn't seem like such a big deal. But what about chocolate for breakfast? Sure, the Spanish and French aristocracy used to drink it all the time, but a mocha in the morning isn't quite enough for me. Here are some ways you can feed that craving before noon and not feel like a total freak. I promise—you're not alone.
Flaky, buttery chocolate croissants take the form of muffins, and are flavored like cinnamon buns, replete with crunchy toasted walnuts, cinnamon sugar, and, of course, the requisite frosting, made rich and tangy with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Photograph from Robyn Lee on Flickr Robyn Lee, who usually posts Serious Eats's Photo of the Day, is once again on vacation in an undisclosed location. And since she would never highlight one of her own amazing photos in this space, I'm going to hijack this feature today and do it for her. Above is a pain au chocolat from Bouley Market. And, in keeping with Robyn's penchant for anthropomorphizing food, I would go so far as to say this lil' guy almost has a face. See it?...