Feel bummed that you missed out on the cronut craze? Well, get in line. Literally, get in line. Karen Krasne, owner and pastry chef extraordinaire of Extraordinary Desserts, has set out to torture those of us trying to eat healthfully with an irresistible version of her own fried croissant pastry: the Froissant™(and, yes, she's trademarked it). It's so popular that customers at both the Bankers Hill and Little Italy bakeries are lining up early in the morning to buy them before they're sold out.
Given Extraordinary Desserts' elegant pedigree, this pastry is not your average fried, stuffed dough. Krasne and her staff make the croissants, getting them to their flaky best, then deep fry them. Once out of the fryer, they're rolled in vanilla bean sugar, then filled with a smooth vanilla custard. A fat ripe strawberry, sliced and sprinkled with a bit of gold foil, tops the confection. This final sweet touch, along with the elevated quality of the ingredients, clearly sends it to special event status, a dish you wouldn't dare accompany with a paper cup of coffee or tea.
Yes, I tried them. Sigh. How could I resist when they were literally presented to me at my door? I enjoyed the firmness of the fried croissant (although I expected it to be crispy and it isn't--but, it may well be if eaten when it's just out of the kitchen). Crumbs don't fly off randomly onto your clothes and the croissant holds the pastry cream well. I also loved the mellow vanilla-y flavor that, even with the vanilla sugar coating, isn't cloyingly sweet. This also makes it dangerous because it's too easy to then dig into a second one. Just be sure to have a napkin or two on hand (or eat one by yourself so you can lick your fingers). The sugar coating makes eating it a delightfully messy experience.
Krasne is only making her Froissants™ Thursday through Saturday mornings, so they're kind of a limited edition treat. But if you have a sweet tooth and a brunch crowd to please--especially going into the holidays--send a trusted loved one over to Extraordinary Desserts to pick some up while you set a nice table, and make a pot of coffee and pitcher of orange juice. Have some sparkling wine on hand, too. These deserve special treatment.
Extraordinary Desserts is located in Little Italy at 1430 Union St. and in Bankers Hill at 2829 Fifth Ave. On Thursdays and Fridays, they open at 8:30. On weekends, they open at 10 a.m.