Kouign Amann Krazy

Yes, it's official - I can't get enough of these unassumingly prefect little pastries.  A Kouign Amann (pronounced ) may look like a simple variation of the standard croissant, but it is oh so much more.  It does start as a typical laminated dough, but layers of sugar are also added.  Still, this may not sound like something spectacular, but the magic happens in the oven.  The chewy caramelization of butter and sugar, the flaky layers of dough and the crunch of the crystalized sugary crust make this sweet treat to die for!

I first became obsessed with these when I had one at Dominique Ansel in NYC - they're one of his specialties.  Some might find them a little pricey, but they are worth every penny and perhaps even a bargain after making my own.  I did some reading up on the subject and decided to dive in and try my hand at making them with a recipe from Ramon Morato's book Chocolate.  (Email me if you would like the recipe, but I think that this is more about technique than recipe.)  I'm a little embarrassed to say, but this was my first time making a laminated dough since culinary school, so I made a bit of a mess.

This is definitely a decadent treat - if you only knew how much butter and sugar went into them!  In my defense however, I left out a good amount of the sugar (about 1/3-1/2) because I got a little scared.  They came out perfectly sweet, so that was a good call.  I formed half with a chocolate truffle filling as suggested in the book and the other half I left in it's classic form.

After a few long and laborious hours filled will anticipation, my Kouign Amann were finally ready!  Mine weren't quite as good as Chef Ansel's, but I think I came in a close second and I'm quite proud of my first attempt.  I can't even decide which I like better.  The classic ones are somehow beautifully simple and complex at the same time, while the chocolate ones are amazing in their own right with a truffle center that keeps it's perfectly creamy texture at room temperature.  Decisions.

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