Kouign Amann in Vancouver
Gentle readers, meet my newest obsession, the Kouign Amann (say “queen aman”).
If you’ve never heard of this deliciousness, two things: I am sad for you, and go remedy the situation and get some now!
The Kouign Amann hails from the Brittnay region of France, which is almost a peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. Known for its pinkish beaches and ancient standing stones, it’s about 400 km from Paris. It’s actually quite close to the UK (which maybe explains the name). In terms of food, the area is famous for seafood (makes sense), crepes, and this fantastic confection: the Kouign Amann.
It’s a little like a croissant (to find out who has my favourite croissant in the city, click here). The dough is created using lamination, which folds sheets of butter into the dough (which is how you make croissants). But this dough includes sugar as well, making it sweeter than your average croissant, and also creating a crispy, caramelized, almost brullééd crust. They are baked in round tins, which is what gives them the distinct round shape, unlike the crescent-shaped croissants.
So, picture soft, buttery dough with a sweet, crunchy shell. That, my friends, is Kouign Amann.
There are a few places here in Vancouver where they are available, though they are much harder to find than croissants.
Kouign Amann in Vancouver
Angus T: this was the first place I ever had a Kouign amann, and man, was my mind blown! Yaleown’s Angus T serves nothing but croissants, so you’d assume, rightly, that they make them well. The Kouign Amann here is baked in such a way that it has these lovely “leaves” that sprout up out of the pan.
The Bench Bakehouse: this may be my favourite Kouign Amann in Vancouver. The Bench opened in January, 2019 on Commercial Dr, and the husband-wife team that run it trained in both Paris and San Francisco, so they are legit. It’s buttery, it’s soft, it’s crunchy… they finish it with a sprinkle of fleur de sel… it’s a party in your mouth.
Beaucoup: what makes the Beaucoup Kouign Amann distinctive is its punchy cardamom flavour. This is not traditional, but if you’re a fan of that warm spice, you’ll like this one.
Nemesis: Nemesis is one of my go-to coffee joints when I want to get out and write where there are people. It’s bright and clean, and the coffee and snacks are good. I have to get the Kouign Amann when I’m there to dip in my coffee. It’s so, so good.
Batard: If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that Batard makes my favourite croissant in the city. Their Kouign Amann is also good. Maybe order both???
Okay! What have I missed? Share with me below where you find Kouign Amann in Vancouver and I’ll add it to my list!
UPDATE: September 2020:
Their There supposedly makes a cereal milk Kouign Amann. Yeah, that’s right, it tastes like Fruit Loops!
Kouign Cafe YVR has just opened in Chinatown. Theirs features a mochi inside, and they are trés instagrammable.