Wednesday, March 31, 2010
the gold standard
So I finally got around to eating a croissant today! I stopped by Eric Kayser's boulangerie and snagged a baguette, a petit pain de mie and two croissants. The croissants looked beautiful but were slightly under-proofed. Take note: if the center of the bread or croissant looks a bit dense or wet, the item was not given enough time to rise before baking. The baguette was crunchy, chewy deliciousness, though, and the pan de mie, a buttery white loaf, was just as good.
Chris and I headed to Berthillon today, too, my new gold standard for ice cream. I had caramel (laced with crunchy, dark caramel shards) and strawberry (a light, slightly tart sorbet) and Chris had chocolate (the way I like it, dark and bitter) and vanilla (good, but tasted a little like Breyer's vanilla to me for some reason). They were all so creamy, so rich.
The ice cream and bread made up for the miserable lunch we had at Restaurant Paul Bert. I'd read such good things, most recently in the April issue of Bon Appetit, that I was prepared for something amazing. Not so , unfortunately. The worst offender was the Paris Brest I had for dessert. This is a classic French pastry: a ring of choux (the same stuff used to make cream puffs) cut in half, filled with a praline mousseline, and topped with sliced almonds and powdered sugar. It is the perfect union of salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy. Instead I was served rubbery choux with a mess of pasty, goopy cream in the middle. Shame on them.