As the temperatures continue to drop, the heat is rising in kitchens throughout New York City. We recently had the pleasure of tasting our way through the five boroughs’ top croissants at the 1st annual Best Croissant Competition.
French Morning brought together the 15 top finalists of over 1,000 entries for a brunch and contest that had croissant connoisseurs casting their votes on the best of the best. Finalists included an array of well-known bakeries including Amy’s Bread, Charlotte Patisserie, Aux Merveilleux de Fred (my favorite bakery in all of NYC), and more.
Foodies and Francophones alike gathered within 5th & Mad‘s two floors for a whirlwind of a brunch competition bursting with buttery croissants. The overflowing venue hosted 700 guests and five top chef judges scouring each display table for a croissant better than the one they’d just popped in their mouth. Diners comfortably noshed at cozy tables while casting their vote from their phones and knocking on the bottom of the pastries Great British Bakeoff style.
The finalists’ croissants we nibbled included Pain d’Avignon, Maison Kayser, Chocopain, Recolte Bakery, Orwashers, Millefeuille Bakery, Ceci Cela, Financier, Le District, Colson Patisserie, Margot Patisserie and La Boulangerie, to name a few. We went carb crazy over classics like pain au chocolat, almond croissants, and flaky, buttery croissants as well as newcomers like cronuts and cruffins.
And finally, the winners were unveiled to eager attendees as the afternoon rounded out.
The Grand Prix Best Croissant as chosen by the judges was Financier Patisserie. Here’s what Chef Emilio had to say about his win…
“Working day in and day out doing what we love is a blessing on its own, but being recognized for a french staple is “la cerise sur le gateau”. Most bakers do not reveal their secrets to their recipe, but today I feel generous… Obviously loving working with a product that is a live like a yeast dough is one thing , but when it talks back to you and you understand it, is when you become part of it….. What makes a great croissant? It is the butter, the right amount of butter as well as butter fat. Then, comes the temperature – both the initial dough and the butter must be in the same texture and temperature to be able to travel at the same speed into the laminating process. Then comes the shaping, and finally, the proofing, followed by the baking. Remember, the baker must take into consideration with each step the weather especially when we working from scratch. Once these steps are mastered, the final step and ingredient is the love ❤.”
Also, best chocolate croissant went to Maison Kayser, and the fan favorite was none other than Choc’o’pain.
What are some of your favorite croissants in the city? We’d love for you to share!