It’s no secret that the Cheng Sisters are big fans of Maison Kayser — a weekly run for baguettes is a necessity. We recently tasted some of the holiday selections at the newest Maison Kayser location, on the Upper West Side, and want to share some of our favorites to help complete your holiday spread.
From December 22 to January 1, a special selection of breads is available: pain aux oignons (onion bread), pain seigle citron (rye bread with lemon zest), and bergamot brioche (available all of January). We loved the savory onion bread, which would go especially well with meats, but also found the rye bread with lemon zest to be unique in its hearty texture and citrus vibrancy; Maison Kayser suggests pairing it with oysters. The bergamot and lemon thyme brioche is highly aromatic and quite remarkable — recommended with foie gras or pâté. For those with a sweet tooth, the pain aux marrons (chestnut bread) is available all of December, and you don’t want to miss out on the kouglof de Nöel, an Alsatian brioche beautifully balanced with dark and golden raisins, rum and kirsch, also available through December.
For dessert, there’s nothing better to put you in the spirit of Christmas than bûches de Noël, and Maison Kayser has three flavors: Kayser (dark chocolate), berry, and marrons (chestnut), available in regular size ($39) and a mini individual portion ($6.50). I love chestnut desserts in wintertime, and though the chestnut and cognac flavors in the traditionally rolled bûche marrons are a chestnut lover’s dream, this year’s bûche Kayser takes the prize. A modern interpretation of the Yule log, the Kayser bûche has a vanilla crème brûlée center surrounded by dark chocolate mousse topped with a dark chocolate glaze. It sits on a chocolate sablé with hints of sea salt and is accented with almond macarons. End your holiday meal on a high note with this exquisite dark chocolate dessert.