The Magic Souffle May Actually Kill the Cronut Line

09/09/2013 at 10:15 AM ET

Dominique Ansel Magic Souffle

People are still waiting three-plus hours in line for Cronuts, but here’s our simple advice:
Don’t. Do. It.

In all of his spare time between filling hundreds upon thousands of Cronut orders, and turning away celebrities who try to skip the line, chef Dominique Ansel has married two other baked goods that are even more compatible than a croissant and a doughnut. Just call him the Yente of pastries.

His new marvel is called the Magic Souffle. It is an ooey-gooey chocolate soufflé hidden inside of a tower of toasted brioche, and you don’t have to wake up at 4:30am to get it (at least not yet).

We learned that the hard way, after getting to the bakery at 5:30am on Friday to join the line, which was already at least 60 people deep. Nearly three hours later, we got to the door and realized the souffle was available in the much shorter non-Cronut line. Still, they were going fast. Just 15 minutes after the doors opened, we snagged two of the last ones.

Dominique Ansel Magic Souffle

Dominique Ansel Magic Souffle

Dominique Ansel Magic Souffle

Dominique Ansel Magic Souffle

Here are all of your questions, answered:

Is it really that good? Yes. Ansel infuses the brioche dough with orange blossom water, and the subtle hit of citrus takes what would just be a really good chocolate souffle to a whole new level. So does the crumbly crunch of the toasted brioche. And how does a perfectly molten souffle rise inside of brioche? Ansel won’t tell—we guess that’s part of the magic.

Can I shove it in my face as I sprint to the subway because the bakery doesn’t open until 8, meaning I’m late for work? Yes. This may be the world’s first souffle you can eat with your hands. In fact, Ansel laughed at us for using a fork.

I’m a broke college student. Can I start a Magic Souffle black market? No. It’s served warm and needs to be eaten pronto.

I’m a broke college student. How much will one of these set me back? $7. It’s worth it.

We hope the Cro-nuts out there don’t storm our apartment with pitchforks speared with shiny gold boxes for crowning a new king. But really. If you are in New York, go get this souffle. And if you aren’t, watch out for imitators in a town near you. They’re coming.

—Marissa Conrad

FILED UNDER: Dessert , Dominique Ansel , Food

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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