My sister's birthday isn't until Wednesday, but she was spending the weekend in France and I really wanted her to have a full homemade birthday dinner before leaving.
Herb-crusted salmon with baby spinach salad was the main course (thanks, Martha Stewart) and I have to admit it was really good.
For dessert, I wanted to make something my sister liked (because, you know, that's what birthday cakes are for), and she doesn't like cooked fruit mixed with dairy products. Once that was out of the picture, I also ruled out anything too heavy or cream-filled.
In the end, I settled on a dessert I know she likes: a kouign amann. It's a specialty from Brittany, and is a caramelized cake filled with salted butter and sugar. Well, normally.
I didn't take any pictures of my two individual kouign amann because they weren't what I had hoped--I can't really speak of caramelized anything. After blowing out her birthday candles, my sister assured me that even if it didn't taste like a kouign amann, it was a pretty tasty crystallized brioche.
If you want to give the kouign amann a go, because it's a delicious dessert when you get it right, there are a few sites you can visit:
Some would say that you can only find a real kouign amann in a tiny hidden patisserie in a tiny hidden village on the west coast, but I honestly doubt that.