David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop, was at New York’s City Bakery last Sunday for a delicious meet-and-greet. For more than a year, I’ve been reading his blog for the chocolate posts, recipes (try the kouign amman, a caramelized croissant-like cake) and humor.
The last time I was at the City Bakery was when Adam, aka the Amateur Gourmet, celebrated his blog’s second birthday. That was my first time trying the bakery’s legendary chocolate chip cookies and tarts.
Photo: The Wandering Eater
This time, I passed another rite of passage: eating my first pretzel croissant. Oh. my. goodness. The outside had that magic shatter factor and a healthy dose of salt. I think Dunkin Hines cakes are too salty, so if I like salty dessert, it must be really good! The inside had a whisper of sweetness, hefty chew and lots of grease (in a good way). Some people complain that City Bakery croissants are too bready, but it worked here.
Also in attendance were Adam (now author of a book memoir), Julie (from A Finger in Every Pie) and Deb (from Smitten Kitchen). I previously met them at various food blogger events, so it was nice to see old faces again.
We (mostly Deb) tried to decode the pretzel croissant’s secret. After careful examination, we guessed that the dough was made with bread whole wheat flour and malt syrup (also found in New York bagels). To get the dark brown pretzel shell, it was probably boiled in lye solution for a couple seconds and sprinkled with salt before baking. According to David, The City Bakery’s recipe is a closely guarded secret, just like that of their hot chocolate.
Julie, several other bloggers and I recently split a 24-pound order of Valrhona chocolate. Her share is still in my apartment. Um Julie, can I just eat it? It’s okay that you haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet.
Adam was a sweetheart. Fame hasn’t changed him. Actually, he was even nicer now than when I met him two years ago. He remembered my food service trip to New Orleans and was proud of the work that CulinaryCorps was doing.
David was easy going and funny, just like on his blog. At one point, the group talked about being unphotogenic, and David’s motto was, “Does it really matter?” Nice.
I admit that I was a mooch that day. The catch about socializing in New York is that nothing’s free. If you meet somewhere, you’re supposed to support the business and buy something. I rushed into the bakery and went straight to the signing because I could only make it at the end of David’s appearance. In between chatting, I forgot about everything else. As I left, I meant to buy something, but they were packing everything away. Now I have to go back and buy my own pretzel croissant.