Dominique Ansel – Trompe L’oeil “Round the World” Desserts (NYC)

Around the world in trompe l’oeil dessert-form.

Our experience

Almost three years ago — August 2019 — at the height of the trompe l’oeil dessert trend, our favourite NYC patisserie introduced a series of desserts to represent everything iconic about life in NYC.  There was a cake that looked like a bagel, another like a pepperoni pizza slice, a pretzel and lastly, a hot dog.  :O  See here for the dessert masterpieces.  Fast forward three years, and to celebrate the re-emergence of global travel after this l-o-n-g pandemic, Dominique Ansel has released a new edition of trompe l’oeil desserts, this time celebrating desserts beyond NYC and from around the world.  And as soon as we came back from a trip abroad, we made a quick beeline to DA and ordered the whole series.  😀  Yes, we know, need to go check pancreatic function after this, but we just couldn’t resist!  So without further ado, feast your eyes on the following photos and run over to DA as these special cakes ($9.50+ tax) are only available until 21 July!  Wouldn’t they make for a fabulous summer picnic idea? 😛

Asia is sadly, still barely opened-up to foreign tourists.  But, for a dreamy escape to the East, DA conjured three desserts from the region:

  • Hong Kong Lemon Tea Juicebox” — sitting on an almond biscuit base and covered with imprinted white chocolate, this was a rectangular block of very lightly-infused Earl Grey mousse, with a centre of bergamot lemon curd. 
  • Japanese Souffle Pancake” — the caramelized bananas at the heart of this cake dominated the flavour profile, whereas by comparison, the muted tones of the surrounding maple mousse somewhat disappeared.  The yellow “butter” cube on the top was salted mascarpone.
  • Thai Mango Sticky Rice” — here, a glistening gelatinous mango creation revealed a centre of silky coconut rice pudding.  Featuring the strongest flavour profile, this trompe l’oeil dessert was our favourite of DA’s global dessert series.

Over to Europe, there were two desserts on offer:

  • Italian Burrata” — a large globe of mascarpone mouse was infused with fresh basil and strawberry compote, and perched on an olive oil cake base.  There was something rather addictive between the balance of sweet and salty here, and it was our second favourite of the global dessert series. 
  • French Brie Cheesecake” — erred too far on the very cheesy and very savoury end of the dessert spectrum for our liking.  If you have a particular affection for cheese, this would be ideal.  But, for us, it was our least favourite of DA’s global dessert series. 

And as a representative of South America, the evocative “Mexican Taco” saw a crescent of sweet corn mousse, ruffles of milk chocolate mousse, chocolate sponge, and lime gelee cubes,  sandwiched between a corn cookie taco shell. 

Our verdict

After more than five years nibbling our way through NYC’s desserts (and half of that time memorializing the best of those desserts on this blog), DA remains to this day, the most creative patisserie in the city.  Its newly launched “Round the World” dessert series, as featured above, is a case in point.  Although some were too subtle in flavour profile for our tastebuds, they put a spring in our step and made us dream of life becoming “normal” again, and of a new dessert adventure overseas very very soon.  

Dessert adventure checklist

  1. ☑ Dessert destination: Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring Street, Soho, Manhattan, New York.
  2. ☑ Budget: $$.
  3. ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Patisserie.
  4. ☑ Must-eat: The Mango Cake especially. 
  5. ☑ The short and sweet story: Around the world in trompe l’oeil dessert-form.


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