Kouign Amann Watch: Unpronounceable Pastry Hits NYC

Kouign amann strikes again! A month after we noted the Breton butter cake’s growing popularity in bakeries up and down the West Coast, it’s found a home in New York. Earlier this week, Dominique Ansel, a former Daniel pastry chef, opened an eponymous bakery in Soho that sells a version of the gloriously fatty pastry, which features great quantities of salted butter and sugar folded between layers of croissant-like dough, yielding a dense, life-shortening disc.

If anyone can popularize a pastry that most of us can’t even pronounce (for the record, it’s koo-WEEN a-Mon), it’s a pastry chef with the Boulud aura, setting up in a Soho storefront—one report had the bakery selling out by 3 p.m. on its opening day. Which makes one wonder if kouign amann is destined to become, like pie, whoopie pie, or the kouign’s fellow countryman, the macaron, a candidate for the dubious designation of The Next Cupcake.

Given that the kouign is even harder to make than a macaron (much less make well) and is unavailable in pastel pink, probably not. And you’ve got to figure there’s going to be some confusion over why certain bakeries are climbing on the Kofi Annan bandwagon.

Image source: Kouign amann from Oakland’s Starter Bakery, by Chris Rochelle/CHOW.com