French baker Eric Kayser during his visit to Manila. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Renowned French baker Eric Kayser is open to the idea of making his own version of the cronut – the well-loved croissant-donut hybrid – to his customers in the Philippines.
Kayser was in Manila last week for the grand launch of the first Philippine branch of his store, Erik Kayser Artisan Boulanger.
In an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com at the sidelines of the event, Kayser said he and his team of chefs in Manila are willing to make items that suit the local palate, including the popular cronut.
“If the people in the Philippines want cronuts, we can do [cronuts],” he said.
When asked what he thinks of the pastry invented by New York-based chef Dominique Ansel, he said: “Well for me, it’s okay because it uses the dough of the croissant and then you put it in the oil. It’s good.”
Several establishments in Manila have been offering versions of the cronut as more Filipinos are willing to wait in line for a taste of the food craze that gripped New York last year.
Wildflour Café + Bakery in Taguig, which was the first to sell cronuts in the country, has stopped producing the trendy pastry to focus on other products.
Local bakeries and franchises are expected to meet a tough contender in the cronut battle should Eric Kayser Artisan Boulanger decide to create the half-croissant, half-donut pastry in Manila.
While cronuts from Eric Kayser Artisan Boulanger in Manila have yet to materialize, customers here have to make do with another well-received pastry, the kouign amann.
Kouign amann, which hails from Brittany, France, is like a cross between a croissant and a palmier with layers of buttery, flaky pastry topped with slightly burnt sugar.
Chefs at the Manila branch of Eric Kayser Artisan Boulanger said the kouign amann is one of the best-selling items on their store, along with the ekmek (Turkish honey bread), Viennoise (soft white bread) and Financier, which is similar to a sponge cake.
Eric Kayser Artisan Boulanger’s kouign amann. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
Kayser’s kouign amann has a crunchy, sweet crust with a nice level of sweetness, and is actually quite better than the trendy cronut offerings in Manila.
“It’s really good,” Kayser said of the pastry.
Eclair making a comeback
While he noted the popularity of both the cronut and kouign amann in the Philippines, United States and other parts of the world, Kayser said that back in his home country of France, a classic pastry is making a comeback.
“In France, what is coming back now is the éclair. It’s quite big there at the moment,” Kayser said.
The éclair is an oblong choux pastry that is filled with sweet cream and is usually topped with chocolate. Some shops in Manila have been offering both classic and modern versions of the éclair, but it never reached the level of fame achieved by the cronut.
Also popular among French customers today is the tart, which has a pastry base and an open top.
“People are going back to the tarts. They love tarts. They’re beautiful. People are going back to the classics,” Kayser said.