The cupcake craze is finally over (well, mostly) and I think it’s safe to say that doughnuts have a firm hold on New York. That said, New York pastry chefs are coming up with a variety of creative desserts and snacks. Here’s a review of some of the sweet treats I tried during my summer in the city. Beware, New York prices ahead…
Frozen s’more $7
I’ll save my discussion of the cronut – Dominique Ansel’s most famous creation – for another time. For now, let’s talk about Ansel’s frozen s’more, a ball of Tahitian vanilla ice cream enrobed in chocolate and then covered in marshmallow. The s’more is torched just before serving, so it’s blistered and brown, just like a regular old toasted marshmallow. To add to the sense of nostalgia, it’s served on a thin willow branch. The treat’s contrast in temperature and texture is intriguing, but the individual elements varied in quality. The marshmallow was well-executed, but the ice cream had an unpleasant consistency. Icy and flaky instead of creamy and smooth, the ice cream had clearly been left to melt, perhaps accidentally, and then refrozen. Overall, this treat is tasty, but like many of Dominique Ansel’s creations, not worth the price – or the wait.
Blueberry yeast doughnut $3.25
There’s nothing very spectacular about Doughnut Plant, but it’s the sort of place where it’s easy to become a regular. The people are nice, the decor is charming, and the doughnuts taste like, well, doughnuts. Doughnut Plant supposedly invented the crème brûlée doughnut, a small round of yeast dough stuffed with vanilla custard and topped with brûléed sugar. It’s good, but if you’re in the mood for proper crème brûlée, this doughnut will disappoint. The browned sugar lacks the proper crunch, and most of the custard oozes out before you can taste it.
Green tea mille crêpe cake $8
Do you like matcha powder? If your answer is yes, then you’ll certainly like Lady M’s matcha mille crêpe cake…because that’s essentially all it tastes like. Layers of green-tea-flavored crepes and pastry cream squish and slide when cut and eaten. This cake is best described with a single word: soft. Unfortunately, the taste of matcha overwhelms the otherwise delicate tastes and textures of the cake. In summary: this mille crêpe cake is very beautiful, pretty tasty, and at $8 a slice, almost definitely overpriced.
Cereal milk soft serve $4.50
Ah, Milk Bar. The New York and Toronto chain is the brainchild of Christina Tossi and David Chang, darlings of the New York food scene. Milk Bar is known for its cereal milk and cereal milk soft serve, which is made by steeping cornflakes in sweetened milk. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, the stuff is amazing. Sweet and creamy with a hint of salt, the ice cream is everything I love about cornflakes. Plus, you can get a killer lunch here – one of Milk Bar’s bagel bombs, dessert and a drink – for just $7. In New York, that’s unheard of.
Do you want me to expand on my experiences at any of these places? Let me know! I could go on and on if someone let me…
“New York Minute” is a weekly series about my summer in New York City.