Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring Street
New York City, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773

Dominique Ansel Bakery must be the most talked about bakery this year, so we couldn't visit New York and skip it! But, we did decide that waking up to line up at 5:00 am for a cronut simply wouldn't fit into our holiday schedule.
So instead, we went late in the afternoon and hoped that there wouldn't be a large crowd. Okay, there wasn't a large crowd, but we still had to line up for awhile. Some of the shelves looked empty, so whatever was there might have been sold out.
At least there were still macarons so that we could try them for our macaron tour.
These pastries were disappearing fast while we were in line. By the time we could order, a few more rows of treats were no longer available.
That's okay, we came here to try the frozen s'more, which made it's début two months after the famous cronut. The torched marshmallow envelopes a vanilla ice cream centre that has been covered in chocolate feuilletine. An apple-wood-smoked stick in place ties in the smell of being by a campfire. This was such a nice treat, probably the favourite thing we tried at the bakery.
Next up is the magic soufflé, which is a Grand Marnier chocolate soufflé encased inside an orange blossom brioche.
It arrives in a cute little box (reminiscent of theatre popcorn) with instructions if you're not eating it immediately.
We were instructed to break open the top.
There's the Grand Marnier chocolate soufflé. We felt that the flavours weren't strong enough, especially the orange blossom brioche which barely had a hint! We would recommend the frozen s'more over this one if you wanted to try one.
Lastly, we picked a honey grapefruit macaron for our tour and was surprisingly disappointed. There was barely any grapefruit flavour and the shell was extremely soft and fragile. Again, making us wonder if it wasn't fresh or properly stored.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe

552 LaGuardia Place
New York City, NY 10012
(212) 533-4698

Do you spot the "French Donut" sign beside their door? Looks like another donut that's caused quite the stir in the news this year! ;)
Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe is a tiny little bakery, mainly for grab-and-go, but there's some seating inside and out.
We came for the . . . macarons!
There are the usual flavours that we've seen in other shops, so no signature flavour combination here.
They do have a pastry selection and of course the mille-feuille, which they're named after.
In the end, we tried the Espresso and Vanilla macaron. The most disappointing was the Vanilla one which felt very soft and soggy and would break as you held it. This lead us to think that it wasn't fresh or it wasn't properly made.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bosie Tea Parlor

10 Morton Street
New York City, NY 10014
(212) 352-9900

There are so many great little places in this neighbourhood! Not far from bisous ciao and Sugar and Plumm is Bosie Tea Parlor. An actual sit down place where you can enjoy some savoury dishes and have your dessert too.
We headed straight for the display counter (we were pretty full from lunch still, plus we didn't have reservations and all the tables were taken) to pick our macarons.
They offer some great flavour combinations that we hadn't seen in the other stores. I think with so much competition in the city, they have to create something unique or different from the many dessert spots. Don't think I didn't notice the pastry in the bottom row. I saw the Ispahan (rose macaron, rose buttercream, lychee, and fresh raspberry) and skipped for joy. However, it's not something I would takeout as we were still sightseeing after picking up the macarons. But knowing that I could one day return and try it made me very, very happy. Also on their pastry menu is an Earl Grey Mille Crêpes that sounds worthy of a repeat visit.
As we mentioned, you can have a meal here. They offer tea services, lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner.
From the top going counter clockwise: Bacon and Maple Syrup, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Raspberry Yuzu macarons. The shells are decorated with edible glitter and they sometimes blend two colours to help differentiate the flavours. How was the Bacon and Maple Syrup? It was fun, you already know what to expect with bacon, and it created an interesting mix of savoury and sweet.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sugar and Plumm

257 Bleecker Street
New York City, NY 10014
(212) 388-5757

Sugar and Plumm was an unexpected surprise as we made our way from one macaron shop to another. The cute purple awning and the spinning pinwheels in the window, all I had to do was point there and Howard understood. Let's take a look inside:
There are shelves full of candy and packaged gift items.
Baked goods for those grabbing breakfast, lunch, or snacks. It turns out they have a flagship bistro location in the upper west side where you can go sit down for a meal.
Beautiful chocolates lining the entire section of a display case. They just looks like delicious puzzle pieces here.
And what piqued my interest in the first place, macarons!
Some of their unique flavours were licorice and strawberry poppy, but I wasn't feeling brave enough to try either one of those (not a licorice fan at all).
In the end, Howard picked Passion Fruit, it's starting to become a staple in our macaron tour, and I went with Rosewater Lychee.
Similarly to Francois Payard Bakery, the Passion Fruit was paired with chocolate, which does hide the fruit flavour. The Rosewater Lychee could have also used more of a flavour punch, I wish it was just Lychee as it's one of my favourite fruits. The shells here are smooth and they don't shy away from colours.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

bisous ciao

235 Bleecker Street
New York City, NY 10014
(212) 675-6366

We're back on track for our macaron tour. It's been a tough job so far, with so many locations and so many flavours, it's not easy trying them all. But, as I told my manager and friends before we left Toronto, someone's got to do it!
bisous ciao specializes in macarons and offers a whole assortment of flavours. They do gift boxes, macaron towers, and events. The shop is modern and minimalistic in decor, the display case takes center stage!
When we went, the macaron display went from neutral to bright colours.
They have a great selection of flavours too, it made just picking one impossible. So we went with three!
Above, from left to right:
Romeo + Juliet: Guava jam with a creamy soft cheese ganache center
Roasted Banana: A roasted banana milk chocolate ganache
Jasmine + Green Tea: A white chocolate infused ganache with a hint of jasmine flowers
For the Romeo + Juliet one, don't worry, the cheese flavour isn't overpowering or strong, you get more of the guava taste in this one. The roasted banana was also pretty subtle since chocolate can easily mask other flavours. I love tea flavours, but the the hint of jasmine didn't stand out, it was more matcha (which I'm fine with since it's one of my favourites) for this pairing. The macaron shells were well constructed and I'm intrigued by how they decorated the Romeo + Juliet shell with the white circle in the middle . . . something to try the next time I make macarons!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Minamoto Kitchoan

509 Madison Avenue
New York City, NY 10022

During my research stage before our trip, I was looking for places with dessert (no surprise here) and came across Minamoto Kitchoan. I'm so glad I pinned it to our map because it was such a surprising treat!
The store looks like a museum or a jewelry store, bright lights and edible jewels on display.
We believe that everything in the display cases are non perishable replicas. A lot of detail went into these inedible pieces and they sometimes show you a cross section of the dessert.
Look! A baumkuchen! I only know what that is because it was once featured in an episode of Yumeiro Patissiere (see episode summary here). Look at all the layers in the ring, I've never seen one for sale before and was tempted to get one. But to buy a whole cake (no slices), I just couldn't do it.
Howard's not a fan of red bean paste, but I adore it. Red bean ice cream, red bean pudding, and now look at all of these red bean fillings!
Gasp! Bunnies! Way too cute to ignore. We bought a box to bring home as a gift. It came nicely gift wrapped and the bunnies were individually wrapped inside the box to ensure freshness. As it was described to us, these "rabbit cakes" are baked "manjyu" (buns filled with bean paste) with Yuzu flavour.
These were quite beautiful. The Kingyo is a Japanese style jelly using natural fruit flavours.
We bought the Peach Sherbet to try. One of the neat features of this treat is that it can be eaten as a jelly or if you freeze it, it becomes a sherbet! They have the jelly ones in baskets for purchases, but if you're like us and wanted to try the sherbet, let them know and they'll grab one from the freezer for you and provide you with spoon and napkin too!

This was one of the highlights from all of the desserts I made Howard tried. Probably his favourite as it was refreshing and delicious.
We also tried the Ayashirabe, as we were told it was their most popular item. It's a condensed milk and sweet white bean paste with yolk wrapped in Japanese crepe. After eating it, we can see why it's one of their bestsellers. The filling isn't overly sweet and that crepe has the best flavour and aroma to it!
There was also this exquisitely wrapped white peach jelly that Howard coveted. But the price point was a bit too high for us to justify. Although, it does look lovely and the whole peach surrounded by jelly sounds like it would be another fun treat.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Todd English Food Hall

Todd English Food Hall
The Plaza Hotel
1 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

If you're in New York City and near West 59th Street (chances are you will at one point be because there's a bunch of goodies there you'd be visiting, from Central Park to the shops and restaurants), stop by the Todd English Food Hall for a snack or quick meal.
Under the Plaza Hotel, as the name implies, there's a wonderful collection of food vendors and plenty of seating in around the hall. If you're into dessert like me, you'll really like this one-stop location for so many great treats!
So we continued my macaron tour by stopping at La Maison du Chocolat for a chocolate macaron.
These were by far the most we've paid for a macaron, but we're guessing because they are larger in size and they're using quality chocolate.
Chocolate lovers rejoice because this macaron is probably one of the richest and creamiest one there is. I would recommend sharing it, because it is a huge portion of chocolate. Texture wise, the shell was a bit too soft for my liking, it felt too delicate and on the verge of breaking.
Our next reason for stopping by the Food Hall is Lady M, makers of fabulous and delicious cakes. Howard and I made a very dire mistake here.
See if you can guess what we did wrong. Look at the photo above and then the one below.
That's right. We only ordered one slice of green tea mille crêpes cake. Sharing is not a good idea here. We should have ordered the green tea, chocolate, chocolate banana, and original in my opinion. What? Four slices shared among two people is normal! Normal! It was embarrassing at how fast we consumed that slice of cake. Each of us with our fork and fighting for the next piece . . .
FP Patisserie is nearby, having already visited a different location, we didn't stop for macarons here.
Cupcakes? Yes! From Billy’s Bakery no less.
Mmm bread!
No bread? Maybe pies are more your thing.

It's worth a visit, especially if you need to pick up items for a Central Park picnic!