t kouglof in Paris at Boulangerie Vandermeersch, is one of them. Barely within the city limits, getting one’s hands on one of Vandermeersch’s fantastic kouglofs is a bit of a production. For me, it entailed an hour-and-a-half-long ride in the metro, but it was more than worth the trip.
To explain, kouglof is a buttery, yeasted cake studded with dried fruits and hazelnuts. Then the cake is then soaked in sugar-syrup and rolled in granulated sugar. Notwithstanding all the sugar-talk, this cake is not overly sweet, making it perfect for breakfast. The yeasty richness of the cake paired with the crunchy hazlenuts, chewy dried fruits and crispy sugary coating — absolutley sublime!
Unfortunately, kouglof is impossible to find in New York, but a comparable substitute is a really good (artisanal if possible) Italian pannetone, a similar yeasted cake sans sugar glaze. Eataly has some good ones. But honestly, even a stellar pannetone falls short of Vandermeersch’s kouglof.
So you’ll just have to come here and get one. It’s totally worth the $1,000 plus in airfare.