Dominique Ansel’s Wonderland Party was part NYCWFF event, and part launch party for the pastry wizard’s first cookbook Dominque Ansel – The Secret Recipes. On Friday night at the High Line Hotel, he and a number of the city’s top pastry chefs dazzled guests with trippy desserts. The Cronut King, who tore his meniscus earlier in the day, limped around the venue greeting colleagues, signing books, and taking AnSelfies with adoring fans.
When asked which recipe in the new book was his favorite, Ansel gasped, “That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child!” However, he recommends that beginner bakers not start with the Cronut recipe, which is particularly difficult to execute. He hasn’t received any homemade Cronuts since the recipe was released a few weeks ago, but is looking forward to tasting some soon — he has full faith that people will be able to recreate his masterpiece at home.
Check out the oddest creations made by Ansel and his friends at this Alice in Wonderland-themed, edible glitter-drenched gala.
10. Zac Young of David Burke Group and Top Chef Just Desserts fame was inspired by the Mad Hatter to create these Mad Crunchy Hazelnut Top Hats with caramel mousse with hazelnut crunch.
9. Richard Capizzi from Lincoln Ristorante made several dishes, but the most fun to eat was the Queen of Hearts: raspberry marmalade on top of a rose marshmallow eaten like an old school candy Push Pop.
8. Stephen Collucci from Colicchio & Sons latched onto the tea party scene with a plethora of tea-inspired pastries. Pictured here is the green tea variety in a chocolate tea cup.
7. Collucci also filled tiny bottles labeled “Drink Me” with homemade huckleberry kombucha. Mr. Ansel loved the presentation but lamented, “I drank it but I didn’t shrink!”
6. Ghaya Oliveira from Restaurant Daniel made these impossibly tiny delicate macarons.
5. Lauren Resler from Empellon loaded the edible glitter onto these White Chocolate Raspberry Almond Petit Fours.
4. These promotional materials for Dominque Ansel’s first cookbook Dominque Ansel – The Secret Recipes made the master of pastry’s arms look unnaturally long. Or that you’d had too many shots from the “Drink Me” bottles.
3. Another one of Richard Capizzi’s creations was the Checkmate, a refreshing chestnut ice cream sandwich with a checkerboard cookie.
2. One of the most inventive and unexpected dishes of the night was Miro Uskokovic of Gramercy Tavern’s Sweet Side of the Mushroom — a concord grape and mushroom tart with smoked caramel custard.
1. And the most insane thing about the Wonderland Party: Dominique ran out of his “Painting the Rose Red” dessert in 42 minutes at a three hour event. The fragile bite was a raspberry and pink champagne marshmallow on a rose stem surrounded by white chocolate dipped rose petals. Sadly, the rose will not be available at Dominique’s bakery, so anyone who avoided the early line missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime Ansel creation.