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Archive for the ‘Tartine’ Category

Summer's best

Berry delicious

I’m trying to enjoy as much as the city has to offer me at night before I officially sign my soul away to the restaurant, so one humid night this week, the bf and I walked to Tartine in the West Village for dinner al fresco. One block away at Magnolia Bakery, throngs of people were gathered inside going coo-coo for media-hyped cupcakes with cloying icing—it looked like a wedding dress sample sale in there. It smelled really good from across the street, but we ignored the waft of enticing vanilla cake batter, turned the corner, and in the end were rewarded with a dessert case full of treats like the berry tart above.

Don’t get me wrong. Surely, cupcakes have their place: they’re cute, they feel special, and when made well, they quell the sweet tooth properly. But there are so many better, even more special treats to be had. No cupcake will do the job of a mixed berry tart right now and pay homage to the season, and no cupcake will taste as refreshing, creamy and buttery. See, that’s the difference between pastry and baking. Pastry takes mastery of a skills-set, an eye for detail, artistry. (The pastry chef Francois Payard said it best in an article I once read in Edible Manhattan about his eponymous Payard Patisserie: “I am not a fucking bakery.”) Cupcakes? Unless you’re making awesome accompanying buttercreams or doing crazy decorations, meh. Please, I will not comment on icing shots.

Of course, there’s something to be said about simple pleasures and good marketing. I’m not a hater, I just love pastries more.

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