My Montreal Bucket List: The 9:30 a.m. Kouign Amann at Au Kouign Amann
Since the day I wandered past this adorable bakery on Mont Royal Ave, I have vowed to return for their home baked speciality, the Kouign-amann (pronounced: quin-aman). Stepping foot inside the doors of Au Kouign Amann Boulangerie Pâtisserie is like stepping into a fairytale. The place is beyond cute. Its wooden red frame, mismatched chairs and welcoming smile is probably the best possible way to start any morning. Oh yes, and the abundance of freshly baked pastries and sweet espresso waiting to be extracted for your morning pick-me-up. This perfectly tops off anyone’s morning, or afternoon, let’s be real. So although I have been a few times for their croissants and other baked delights, one must be up at the crack of dawn for the kouign-amann. It walks out the door pretty fast each morning.
9.30am I am on the doorstep, fingers crossed, hoping they have just one piece left for me! And I guess it was my lucky day. Cutting into the last kouign-amann for my slice of this ever so popular sweet, I watch the man behind the counter nicely wrap it in paper and place into a little brown paper bag as he hands it over to me. I was most excited! And with a coffee to go, it was a lovely start to my day.
So, what is Kouign-Amann you are probably wondering? It’s a cake which originated from Brittany, France in the late 1800. Made in a similar process to puff pastry, the cake is made with bread dough and folded to incorporate layers of butter and sugar. As it cooks, the layers “puff” creating a sweet and airy cake. The sugar on the outside caramelises creating a deliciously addictive caramel crunch. Yumm!
And this is exactly what I enjoyed this morning. As I tapped the top of the golden outer layer with my knife, it chimed like a beautiful hard caramel should. The layers of cake within were light yet rich with the flavour of sweet butter. That initial bite reminded me of a late Sunday morning heaven as I enjoyed the sweetness of kouign-amann with the the creaminess of my espresso while I read the pages of my book.
And incase you are wondering, the croissants are wonderfully addictive also. Enjoy!
Au Kouign-Amann Boulangerie Pâtisserie is located at 322 Mont Royal Ave. Open daily from 7am to 7pm.