Macarons are so 2014. Kouign-amanns and canelés? Too ambitious to truly be adopted by the gestalt. For the next big thing in desserts, we're putting our money on cream puffs—choux à la crème if you're fancy. Specifically, we're newly obsessed with a Houston delivery service that brings made-to-order, from-scratch choux practically right to your mouth. Meet Choux Much.
Marie-Ange Anglow grew up in New York, but she's a dyed-in-the-wool francophone. With a French mother and Ivorian father, she says she didn't speak English full-time until she was 16. College in Paris and law school in Brussels cemented her feel for all things Gallic. But she says that she's found far more fulfillment from baking than international politics. After more than a year of experimenting and cementing her skills with the notoriously difficult-to-perfect choux, she now says, "I'm ready to share the stretch marks with other people."
We'll happily take on a few if it means biting into her light-as-air pastry that oozes rich custards. Often, when a patissier says a filling is rose or orange-blossom-flavored, the dessert betrays only a floral whisper, if that. Anglow's choux do not have that problem. The rose cream puff, topped with a pink round of marzipan, explodes with the sweetness of a garden, and a gush of tangy raspberry compôte.
Caramel salé, with a crown of crackling burnt sugar similar to the top of a crème brûlée, is not only rich with caramel, but vigorously salty. If we've ever had a pistachio ice cream as intense as the nutty rush of the pistache flavor, we don't remember it. And we remember everything.
But best of all is the current flavor of the month, which we hope Anglow will make a permanent option: The Fôret Noire is so much more than a typical Black Forest cake. Choux Much's version is filled with 70-percent cacao crémeux and a single brandied cherry. In classic Black Forest form, the puff is topped with whipped cream, a maraschino cherry and chocolate shavings. We could eat 100 of them, but we don't want to share Anglow's stretch marks that badly.
Choux may give the business its name, but options don't end there: Cakes and tarts include almond-based Gâteau Nantais heavy with rum and topped with vanilla glaze and a pair of gold-brushed nuts. There are also spreads, including homemade gianduja (think all-natural Nutella) and granolas. "It's not like healthy granola, because who wants that?" Anglow jokes. Instead, she takes cues from pastry ingredients and exotic locales. The Tangier melds dried apricots, pistachios and almonds with maple syrup for something that tastes like a grown-up version of sweet breakfast cereal.
The spreads and granolas can be shipped anywhere in the country, but the eponymous choux are only available in Houston. All but the $3.75 Fôret Noire cost $2.50 apiece, with a minimum order of $25. Delivery is available Monday through Saturday. Check out chouxmuch.com to order a taste.