- Dessert Club, Chikalicious
204 E. 10th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-475-0929
It’s true, there’s not a lot of competition. Éclairs aren’t cupcakes. But after tasting one of Chika Tillman’s, you begin to wonder why. Light and airy and addictive as any drug, they come in two flavors: a fragrant vanilla-pastry-cream-filled version dusted with powdered sugar, or a fiendish chocolate-cream-and-chocolate-ganache concoction, with chocolate-fondant icing. And unlike the soggy-shelled variety you may be accustomed to, these éclairs possess a delicate, almost Kit-Kat-like crunch that takes you by surprise. The secret to this mysterious crackle, admits Tillman, is a layer of cookie dough baked onto the top of the choux-pastry shell—a vast structural and textural improvement on classic pastry design.