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Gourmet

Master pastry chef Jacques Torres is a fan of the Bruffin

With all the Cronuts, cragels, donut burgers and endless Doritos dusted snack foods—does the world really need more mashups?

If they’re good—yes, says master pastry chef Jacques Torres.

The whimsical chocolatier stopped by Chew on This to try out a popular hybrid pastry called the Bruffin -- a mix between a brioche and a muffin.

“There’s a little bit of sweetness so you need to love sweet and savory,” Torres said after tasting the all-in-one pastry.

That's the idea, according to Bruffin co-creator Michael Bagley.

“When we originally created the Bruffin, we used savory flavors because I wanted something that could be a substitute for a sandwich or even a full breakfast,” he said. “We were well aware that there wasn’t really anything else on the market when we started out.”

In 2011, Bagley began working with Algerian-born chef Medy Youcef and the idea for the Bruffin was born. Bagley says it took about six months to perfect the recipe, particularly the dough, so that it would be hearty enough to stand up to sauces and stuffing but light enough to eat without a knife and fork.

Almost two years before pastry chef Dominique Ansel's famous croissant-doughnut Cronut hybrid, the Bruffin sparked a cult following, despite being available only in the New York area.  

Since then, the brand has grown to over a dozen varieties based on international foods (Italy has pepperoni and parmigiana, Sweden has smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese.)  Now, there's a new brick and mortar store in New York City’s trendy Ganesvoort Market and Bagley is working on bruffin licensing agreements in Australia, Japan, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

So how do they taste?

"Like any doughy thing, it's a little bit on the dry side, but it tastes good," Torres says. "But what I like is that, it's not like a sandwich, you can just take a little piece, eat it."

Most of the flavors in the regular 16 are savory --just three are sweet—but we liked pretty much everyone we tried. 

The pastry is flaky and crunchy on the outside with a warm and doughy center. The Canadian with maple bacon and sharp cheddar was a certified hit, as was the Italian with pepperoni, pesto and a subtle touch of parmesan.

And don't expect a gooey thing that falls apart in your hand. It's surprisingly clean.

But the only thing that's “muffin-like” about the Bruffin is its compact shape.