While the Food and Drug Administration simultaneously cracks down on nutrition labels, dessert mavericks are finding new ways to indulge. From Dominique Ansel’s Cronut® to Ben and Jerry’s new core ice cream flavors, the dessert industry is clearly gaining momentum. Even though your neighbor may be on a raw-vegan-paleo-juice cleanse, there is no reason why you shouldn’t live it up with ritzy desserts. Put down the kale and shamelessly indulge in Dominique Ansel’s latest calorie-laden creations. After all, you only live once.
No one can mention the Dominique Ansel without first talking about his world-famous Cronut®. This recently trademarked pastry first graced New York City on May 10, 2013. Cronuts® are frequently described as a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. Yet, the Dominique Ansel Bakery website admonishes that they are much more than that—“Chef Dominique Ansel’s creation is not to be mistaken as simply croissant dough that has been fried”—it took over two months for Ansel to perfect the recipe and the Cronut® process can take up to three days to complete.
As far as Ansel’s desserts, Cronuts® seem to get all the love. While the hype is certainly justified, dessert-lovers should not stop at his most prominent creation—it would be akin to only reading Romeo and Juliet in order understand Shakespeare.
In September, Ansel debuted his Magic Soufflé and Gingerbread Pinecones. In December he used his Mini-Me meringues in Cold Christmas Cereal. Just last week, Ansel revealed Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots via Instagram. Clearly, Ansel is a superstar of the dessert world; not just a one-pastry wonder.
The Magic Soufflé, another proprietary recipe, combines Grand Marnier chocolate soufflé inside an orange blossom brioche. These playful rectangular desserts were available throughout Fall and sold for $7.00 each. These small skyscraper-shaped pastries, like the majority of Ansel’s creations, are handcrafted daily.
Later that month, Ansel created a beautifully sculpted Gingerbread Pinecone. This centerpiece worthy creation is a fusion of speculoos-filled nutmeg cake and ginger caramel cream. Ansel can make more traditional, architecturally impeccable desserts, such as the Gingerbread Pinecone, in addition to more playful treats.
December saw the debut of Christmas Morning cold cereal—Valrhona Caramelia chocolate covered rice cereal, cinnamon Mini-Me meringues, and hazelnut brittle. Ansel’s Mini-Me meringues are a gourmet version of mini-marshmallows and come in a variety of seasonal flavors. Dessert for breakfast is an occasional and nostalgic indulgence; this cold cereal is more than worth it’s $15 per box price.
In a similar manner, Ansel’s latest creation is combines childhood with grown-up chic. His Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots are essentially shot glasses made of chocolate chip cookies. The Dominique Ansel Bakery serves them with organic milk, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t try filling the dessert glasses with a New Orleans style Milk Punch, coffee, or hot chocolate. Ansel plans to bring Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots (and his signature Cronuts®) to Austin’s SXSW festival this weekend.
While Dominique Ansel’s desserts may seem a bit pricey, just remember that this is the closest you’ll ever get to buying happiness.