Daily Archives: January 24, 2012

the best pastry you can’t pronounce

Of all the things I thought I’d learn about from Alt Summit, a fancy pastry was definitely not one of them.

But on the last day, I got to go on a foodie tour of Salt Lake City  with 7 other ladies from the summit, led by Lindsey Johnson.

The first place we went to was Les Madeleines, a bakery that’s best known for something called kouing-aman, which was featured on The Food Network.  Romina Rasmussen, the totally adorable pastry chef, came out to speak to us about her obscure and wonderful little bundle of awesome.

Romina Rasmussen, maker of the kouing aman

And more importantly, she gave us each one to sample.

It’s crispy, almost crunchy on the outside.  Pulling the bun apart with your fingers, the inside is flakey and airy, like a croissant, but then the center is gooey and carmelly.  It’s an gorgeous triumvirate of textures, with a flavor that’s both sweet and a bit salty.
I immediately wanted to scarf about three more of them.  (Which was not on offer.)

You can special order these overnight directly from Les Madeleines, but there do seem to be a few other places in the country that make them.

Starter Baker – sells to various cafes and bakeries in the Bay Area

Bouchon Bakery – in Los Angeles

Dominique Ansel – in New York

If you want to ask around in your neck of the woods, you should be saying something like “cooing” or “queen uh-MON.”  You may also see it spelled kouign amann. It’s not a French word, but Breton, so kind of like something viking-leprechauns would say.

Romina says it takes her about 9 hours to make them, so maybe you could just make some yourself.  And then send me some.

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