Lady M Confections- One of the best bakeries in America, also home to the best Matcha Mille Crepe stateside
Desserts- that sweet filled part of our world that so many of you skip main meals to get to, that many slave hours at the gym just to be able to get a bite of. Throughout my entire life, I’ve always been a more savory girl, preferring my spicy noodles to chocolate cake, pungent Asian salads to ice creams. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t enjoy partaking in a truly great dessert. It’s just that most desserts in the world are drowning in too much sugar, losing any sense of true flavor if they had any to begin with.
This is why I’ve always had a propensity towards Asian desserts, those colorfully bright iced desserts where you can ask the creators not to put too much syrup on top of an assortment of fresh fruits, or Asian steamed cakes which by nature used far less sugar than their Western counterparts. To be fair, I’m thrilled to give credit to European pastry masters of the last few years who thankfully have taken a leaf from Asian pastry masters in decreasing the amount of sugar in the desserts, focusing more on genuine flavors of high quality ingredients.
A truly phenomenal dessert takes several aspects: great ingredients, a talented chef and the right tools. Everything else is just a variation.
A little over a year ago, I came upon a boutique bakery of sorts called Lady M in New York. Lady M has boutiques in New York, California, Massachusetts and Illinois. To a certain degree, they also handle online orders and deliveries.
The first bite I had of a Lady M creation was the Matcha Mille Crepe, which translates to Green Tea Thousand Layer Crepe (pictured above). It’s obviously not really a thousand layers (to be exact, Lady M’s is 20 layers tall) but Mille Crepe finds its root in French confectionary history, as does Mille Feuille (which I’ll talk about shortly).
For someone like me who abhors diabetic-shock inducing desserts, this Matcha Mille Crepe was heaven at first taste. Light, fluffy texture with a deliciously subtle Matcha cream where I could actually taste the Matcha!! I took a second bite to make sure I wasn’t imagining how delicious this creation was. Nope- still heavenly. And yes, before I knew it, an entire slice of this diabolical concoction was in my tummy. Twenty paper thin layers of crepe (I can never get mine to be that thin at home) sit between equally thin layers of Matcha creme, all topped with a shake of pure Matcha powder.
Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of trying Lady M’s Strawberry Mille Feuille, which is “thousand layer” puff pastry amid fresh strawberry chunks and their proprietary blend of whipped creamy goodness. Like every other dessert in their powerful arsenal (these desserts are so damn good that two warring politicians could likely sit together and resolve their conflicts over a Lady M creation), the Strawberry Mille Feuille battles the Matcha Mille Crepe as my number one favorite.
Other patrons’ favorites include the Passionfruit Mille Crepe, Fresh Fruit Tarts, Eclairs and ethereally light Chocolate Vanilla Sponge Cakes.
What sets Lady M Confections apart is they are clearly French pastry trained, the unmistakable classic techniques of baking (as someone who went to culinary school as a child, I have huge appreciation for a great baker) but with a unique twist of Asian palate, that is, focus on the genuine flavors of basic, high quality ingredients without overpowering sweetness.
What we have then are bakery “boutiques” that are the perfect spot for afternoon coffee or tea with a slice of heaven, whether by yourself, a romantic tete a tete or even a casual business meeting. At several of the Lady M boutiques, I’ve seen everyone from Hollywood celebrities to Asian teenagers in trendy Korean clothing to business men in suits to parents struggling with newborns. Nobody can stay away from Lady M after just one bite.