New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel released "the Cronut" in May 2013. The pastry was met with immediate love and success. Acclaims such as being called one of the "25 Best Inventions" of 2013, lines that stretch for a mile around the block, and the fact that Dominique Ansel is one of the most well-known pastry chefs in America, instantly embedded this pastry in the hearts (and arteries) of people across the globe.A friend of mine recently told me about a Cronut imposter called a "Frissant" somewhere in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and I instantly knew that I had to have one. I traced the flaky pastry all the way to an establishment nestled in between Mt. Pleasant and Strathcona neighbourhoods in East Vancouver called Swiss Bakery.
That morning, I woke up before the sun came out. Honestly, only a Frissant could have that effect on me. I took the number 84 bus from UBC to the bakery and arrived a little while after opening (and I advise you to do the same because these babies sell out fast). They come in two sizes, a larger one for $4.00 each and a smaller one for $2.00 each. I ordered the Vanilla Bean as well as the Pumpki—both in large.
From the moment I touched it, I knew that I was in for a treat. Both of them exhibited a delightful crusty outside and ripped apart easily with little to no effort. There's something sexy about it and I honestly can't even put my finger on it. Is it the crusty, thin and flaky crust? Or is it the icing drizzle? Maybe it's the soft layers of buttery and melt-in-your-mouth croissant goodness on the inside that is layered with an amazing filling? I would argue for all three.
The Pumpkin flavoured one... Okay, let me try to explain this. Do you know that GIF of the man with his eyes rolled back into his head and he's drooling and the world is all good and there are rainbows? That was me.
This image, however, does no justice to this pumpkin purée. It tasted of fresh pumpkin and had that trademark "neon-orange-stay-away-from-me" colour that certain venomous plants and caterpillars have. The spices worked perfectly with the Frissant to create a pastry that had very strong flavour and textural contrasts between the dough and the purée.
Vanilla Bean Frissant
Where was this vanilla from? Madagascar? Mexico? I'm imagining some fantasy island in the middle of the Ocean where exotic vanilla flowers come from. Biting into the little vanilla seeds released further bursts of vanilla flavour.
Alas, I had to leave this little paradise in Mt. Pleasant to go back home. By this time, it was around lunch and I realized I still hadn't started studying for my midterms yet. Yikes! I'm definitely coming back to celebrate the end of exams though and I'm bringing all of my friends. Frissants beware, I'm coming for you.