Pain au Chocolat from Sweet Lady Jane

December 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

If you have ever been to Paris and tasted a freshly baked croissant there, you undoubtedly have pangs of nostalgia and longing for the buttery layers that exude steam when pulled open. The smell and taste that define the very essence of an early morning in Paris. I remember the early morning coffee with croissant that was still warm from the closest bakery to the hotel I was staying in many years ago. The very thought of that first bite, accompanied by a sip of espresso, makes me want to go back for even just a sliver of a second.

Now I live in West Hollywood, which is a little far from one of those magical croissants, but I am luckier than most because I live walking distance from Sweet Lady Jane, a divinely tiny little bakery that serves up gorgeous cakes, cupcakes, and (YES!) freshly baked croissants.

It just so happened that this morning was one of those morning when I was reading this mouthwatering article concerning croissants in Paris by David Lebovitz and I simply needed to have a chocolate croissant. I remembered the proximity of that dangerously delightful venue down the street and resolved that this was a morning that I would have a freshly baked chocolate croissant. It was still early enough that I thought any freshly baked pastries would still have a glimmer of warmth in the middle.

I had never bought a croissant from Sweet Lady Jane’s before — I typically go there for a very special cake or cupcake (because I know how one thing can lead to another and my daily ‘walking’ routine could quickly become a visit to the pastry fairy). Today was the day that I would have a chocolate croissant from Sweet Lady Jane. I knew that if their croissants were anything like their cupcakes, I would at least be the “Parisian chocolate croissant” zip code that would feel somewhat like a mini Paris excursion.

I was totally right — while it is, in my opinion, impossible to replicate the elusive Parisian croissant, it is possible to make an homage to the original. The chocolate croissant from Sweet Lady Jane was delightful and it was ever so slightly warm and the chocolate was gooey and … yes, it was enough to keep me from purchasing a one-way ticket to Paris. For how long, is another question. But I certainly recommend the croissants at Sweet Lady Jane, along with a cup of tea by the window. You will not regret it.

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