After our post last week on our Colette experience, many people messaged us telling us that Flour Bakery make the best kouign-amann in the Boston area. This morning we got up early and trundled to Flour in the Riverside area of Cambridge. Alas, there were no kouign-amann in the case, so we asked a staffer. She looked at us like we were aliens and said, “Yeah, we stopped making those a long time ago.” So they might have been perfect…but we’ll never find out!
So, instead, we headed back to Somerville to try another place on the list, Caramel Patisserie.
Caramel Patisserie started in Salem, but opened an outlet in Davis Square in Cambridge, a couple of doors down from the Burren. (Still in a bit of shock as to how much the block has changed since I lived here before, but that’s a blog post for another time.) They have macaroons and sweets aplenty, but our eyes were focused on just one thing. Well, two. Those two being the only two kouign-amann they had left in the shop.
After paying with exact change (there is a change shortage in the U.S., dont’cha know?) we took them back, plated them, and photographed them. Because if you don’t photograph it and post it to Instagram, did you really eat it?
We had some hopes for this kouign-amann. The top was tightly folded and it seemed somewhat weightier than other American kouign-amann we’ve had.
Enough admiring, time to bite in. So we did. It was not as dense as our perfect kouign-amann in Rennes, but the top had a density that at least made us realize that they were trying. It was also more buttery than many we have had in the US. Not quite at “this should have a warning from the American Heart Association” level, but buttery enough that it pleased us.
The sugar coating was delicate, as if it had been lightly painted on rather than soaked in the sugar mixture. For reference, below is our ideal kouign-amann:
The pastry layers are saturated, glossy and crystalline with sugar and butter. Surprisingly for a place called Caramel, there seemed to be a dusting of sugar on the pastry, but it lacked the accompanying hint of browned butter. There was a flavor of darkness from the heavily baked bits, but it was not quite the flavor we were expecting.
This isn’t to say that it was bad – far from it. We ate our pastries and enjoyed them, and if someone were to bring us a couple we certainly wouldn’t turn up our nose at them. We look forward to trying their macaroons and other patisserie. But is it the most authentic kouign-amann we can find in the Boston area? We’ll have to see.
Caramel French Patisserie
235 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144