Celebrating NYC in trompe l’oeil dessert-form.
When these Dessert Correspondents relocated to NYC over two years ago, the first patisserie on our to-visit and to-eat list was “DA”, a.k.a. “Dominique Ansel.” Since opening in 2011, it has been the creator and catalyst of many dessert trends that have since proliferated world wide, including the cronut pastry hybrid, the psychedelic soft serve swirled into a giant watermelon taco-like encasement, the shot glass made of cookie and filled with milk, just to name a few. Dominique Ansel is perhaps, the patisserie of the Instagram-era. In celebration of his 15th year anniversary in NYC, the pastry chef himself has released a series of nine desserts to represent everything iconic about life in NYC. And as part of our ongoing documentation of the trompe l’oeil dessert trend, we sampled several of these desserts.
Resembling so very much an “everything bagel”, Dominique Ansel’s version of the “Everything Bagel & Schmear” was actually, a honey graham cracker-flavoured meringue bespeckled with sesame seed, poppy seed and toasted coconut. It sandwiched a chunky circle of cheese mousse with an inner tube of sour cherry jam. Crafted to resemble a pepperoni pizza slice, the “New York Slice” was a strawberry cheesecake-like creation, with thinly-sliced strawberries glazing the surface of a fromage blanc mousse. Its “crust” was a vanilla sable and its base was a kirsch-soaked almond biscuit. The “Pretzel” was a twist of peanut-butter-flavoured mousse, with slight caramel tones, and decorated with crunchy chocolate-coated pretzels at this base. The “Haute Dog” was perhaps the most mind-boggling, and life-like, of the trompe l’oeil dessert creations. When sliced, it still resembled a frankfurter…yet, one bite yielded raspberry mousse, passionfruit curd, and a “bun” of lady finger sponge cake.
Over the last few years here, we have found NYC to be a city of great transience – people arrive and leave, restaurants open and shutter, something trends then dissipates. To find something with a degree of permanence – whether that be friends, a favourite hideout – it becomes something to treasure. And in our humble opinion, DA is certainly such a treasure…a NYC dessert treasure, to be precise.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring Street, Soho, Manhattan, New York.
- ☑ Budget: $$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Patisserie.
- ☑ Must-eat: All of the above. ;p
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Celebrating NYC in trompe l’oeil dessert-form.