Fast Food Catering
Croissants: What and What Not to Add for Heavenly Flavor
Croissants are staple pastries in beloved bakeries like Au Bon Pain, thanks to their buttery flavors, flaky textures, and crescent shape. These viennoiserie pastries are made of yeast-leavened dough that has been layered with rich butter before being rolled and folded several times to form a sheet.
But despite its staple stature, especially as part of a continental breakfast, the pastry is among the misunderstood baked goods. Many people still pair their croissants with the incorrect toppings that, in turn, results in the bastardization of the pastry.
Of course, the best topping for croissants is cold salted butter, preferably of the highest quality you can afford. While the French turn up their noses at liberal applications of butter on freshly-baked croissants, we like to say that the combination of a buttery hot pastry with deliciously cold butter is among the best ideas in the world!
The combination of sweet and salty flavors on a freshly-baked buttery, flaky pastry makes breakfast something to look forward to at the end of the day. You will be dreaming of croissants and butter in your sleep.
But the creamy decadence of butter can be overwhelming, too. This is where a large cup of coffee, preferably black (i.e., no sugar, no cream), comes into the picture. The coffee provides a refreshingly earthy, if sometimes slightly bitter, contrast to the butter’s creaminess.
When you alternate between eating buttered croissants with dark coffee, your day will get off on the right foot. Ask the British who like the combo and you will understand why the French may have invented croissants but the Brits have taken it to the next level.
May people, unfortunately, still pair croissants with other toppings – and the results aren’t as delicious as you would think. Croissant connoisseurs think that jam, honey and marmalade turn the pasty into cloyingly sweet bread, which can ruin your appetite for breakfast.
Even pairing chocolate with croissants is considered a major culinary faux pas. Milk chocolate has a too fatty flavor, dark chocolate has a distinctive bitter and fruity taste, and pain au chocolate has poor flavor coupled with a waxy texture. All of these ruin the croissant’s buttery flavor and flaxy texture so we suggest leaving them on the table.
Croissants are also best eaten when freshly-baked and during breakfasts only. You may have heard of croissant desserts but these are still a rarity in the croissant connoisseurs’ rule book, no thanks to the unappetizingly sweet flavor. You will also find that the best number of croissants to eat in the morning is just two – one isn’t enough but three is too much.