Tucked among the high-end boutiques of Soho, Dominique Ansel Bakery is home to a commodity far more exclusive than than any silk scarf or pair of designer heels. For an early-morning outing worth its weight in baked goods, grab your friends and line up outside this game-changing bakery before it opens at 8am (9am on Sundays) to get your hands on one of just 350 decadent cronuts made each day. Described as a croissant-doughnut hybrid, the Cronut is actually neither. It’s made with a laminated dough (the recipe’s a secret) which is proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil. Then it’s rolled in sugar, filled with cream, and topped with glaze before making its way to the display case to be devoured within minutes. This flaky masterpiece took Ansel two months to create, and each delicious pastry takes a full three days to produce. And while there are plenty of imitators of this worldwide craze, the Cronut™ is a Dominique Ansel Bakery exclusive.
So wait in line, buy your cronut, and see if it’s worth all the buzz. Even if you conclude that it’s somewhat less than earth-shattering, you’ll probably admit that it’s still really, really good. In any case, it’s fun to chase down a much-hyped food trend to its source to experience it for yourself every now and then.
Moreover, Ansel is no one-trick pony. You may have come for the Cronut, but no one in your group will be able to resist the sight of the other freshly-made sweets lined up behind the glass counter. This delightful display of pastries is as beautiful as it is delicious, making it impossible for you to try just one.
If you’re a newbie, opt for a selection of Dominique Ansel classics such as the DKA, a croissant-like ball of dough with a caramelized crust, and Nutella Milk Bread, milk brioche filled with Nutella. Though you may wince as you take your first bite into an intricately designed bunny ear on an Easter pastry or a bow tie on an eclair, the taste will instantly make up for the guilt of eating a work of art. Just remember to Instagram it before you eat it. You definitely won’t be the first.
Except for its staples, Dominique Ansel Bakery’s menu of cakes and tarts changes every six to eight weeks to take advantage of the kitchen’s latest innovations and seasonal ingredients. Even if you’re a repeat customer, there will always be a new treat to try. By the time you finish your early-morning pastry feast, you’ll understand why Dominique Ansel Bakery is considered one of the top bakeries in the world. Now where can you get a good cup of coffee around here?