French pastry chef Dominique Ansel catapulted to fame a few months back as the father of the Cronut™ — the peculiarly delicious croissant-doughnut hybrid that has had would-be customers lining up around the block since it debuted and inspired imitations across the world and a summer-long whirlwind of press that’s about to eek its way into fall.
After such a blockbuster hit, what’s next for Ansel and his namesake bakery, Dominique Ansel in SoHo? Last week, he debuted his newest invention: the Magic soufflé ($7). That’d be a chocolate soufflé, complete with the molten center, wrapped in an orange blossom brioche.
As any amateur baker or enthusiastic dessert-eater knows, soufflés are a mighty tricky business. The airy confection rises when baked to a delicate, wobbly dome, which can quickly deflate; if made improperly, it will never rise at all. That’s why you’ll most often see soufflés at restaurants, where they’re baked to order — and less often at bakeries, as they’re not shelf-stable.
But through another bit of pastry-chef wizardry, Ansel has created a soufflé that doesn’t fall. The confection is served fresh from the oven and a sticker on the charming red-and-white striped box offers advice: Please eat immediately when warm. Take that advice: Grab it right out of the box, tear it in half, and get right to that amazing chocolate core. You’ll have time to savor the orange blossom brioche and Grand Marnier caramel in a moment.
Will the magic soufflé be the next Cronut? While we haven’t seen knockoffs or lines around SoHo yet, they have been selling out quickly, as there are only 100 made each day. Our recommendation: Get on this bandwagon early.
189 Spring St.