cover image The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts

The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts

Pichet Ong, Genevieve Ko, , foreword by Jean-George Vongerichten. . Morrow, $29.95 (292pp) ISBN 978-0-06-085767-7

Finding a compilation of Asian-inspired desserts isn't always an easy task, as baking sections tend to be chockfull of Italian and French influenced titles. The good news is Ong (owner of NYC's P*ong) presents more than 100 accessible, top-notch recipes inspired from such countries as Japan (Honey Castella, or kasutera ), China (Peanut Turnovers) and India (Pistachio Rose Thumbprint Cookies). Popular desserts from New York's famed Spice Market (where Ong has consulted)— Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart and Jasmine Rice Pudding—lend themselves to frequent repetition. Twists on American favorites such as the Cracker Jack–like Spiced Caramel Popcorn made with mukawa (Indian candied fennel seed) and Coconut "Twinkie" Cupcakes with Lemon Filling are presented alongside adaptations of recipes from renowned pastry chefs and include Dragon Devil's Food Cupcakes (Elizabeth Falkner) and Chocolate-Mango Cheesecake Parfait with Macadamia Cookie Crumbs (Vicki Wells). Those unfamiliar with Asian ingredients can read up on everything from mochi flour to mangosteens in the Sweet Asian Pantry chapter. Recipe steps are numbered, and each selection includes a chef's tip—where to find ingredients, technique advice, cultural notes. A sleek design with color photos makes this a visual treat as well as a culinary one. (June)