12 bewildering dishes that prove pastry chef Dominique Ansel is transforming our definition of dessert

Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Haute Dog.
  • Chef Dominique Ansel is famous for his incredible desserts that transform everyday objects into delicious confections.
  • Although he’s most famous for the “Cronut,” Ansel has released dozens upon dozens of showstopping creations.
  • They include a cheesecake made to look like a grilled cheese sandwich and a marshmallow that blooms into a flower in hot chocolate.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Dominique Ansel is regarded as one of the world’s best pastry chefs – and for good reason.

His famous “Cronut” – the decadent lovechild of a doughnut and a croissant – brought him international stardom when it went viral in 2013.

Ansel now owns and operates eponymous bakeries in New York, Los Angeles, and London, as well as Dominique Ansel Kitchen in Manhattan’s West Village and the 189 by Dominique Ansel restaurant in LA.

From Cookie Shots to Blooming Hot Chocolate, Ansel’s culinary creations have significantly altered the landscape of confections and desserts. The chef often finds inspiration for his world-class pastries from ordinary everyday items – whether it be a slice of watermelon, a hamburger, or a street pretzel.

Here are 12 of his most incredible edible treats.


The “Grilled Cheese” Cheesecake is cut diagonally, looking like it came right out of a lunch box.

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe ‘Grilled Cheese’ Cheesecake.

The “Grilled Cheese” Cheesecake, available at 189 by Dominique Ansel, is part of the restaurant’s new dessert menu inspired by beloved childhood foods.

Believe it or not, this sandwich facsimile never touches a grill – it’s made with creamy ricotta cheesecake that’s gently brûléed to order, with Meyer lemon curd at the centre, and finished with a graham cracker crumble “crust.”


The Mango Passion fruit Soft Serve Taco is topped with a sweet salsa.

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Mango Passion fruit Soft Serve Taco.

The Mango Passion fruit Soft Serve Taco, available at Dominique Ansel Bakery Los Angeles, is made with mango passion fruit soft serve swirled into a honey tuile waffle “shell.”

It is then topped with a strawberry kiwi mint “salsa” – but don’t worry, it’s not spicy. The salsa gets its unique look and feel from the carefully diced strawberries and kiwis.


The Crème Fraîche Cheesecake is served in its own miniature cheese crate.

Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Creme Fraiche Cheesecake.

The Crème Fraîche Cheesecake, available at Dominique Ansel’s London location from September 28 to 30, features light and silky crème fraîche cheesecake served in its own mini wooden cheese crate.

The cake is topped with a drizzle of gluten-free black truffle honey.


The What-a-Melon Soft Serve has dark chocolate “seeds.”

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe What-a-Melon Soft Serve.

The What-a-Melon Soft Serve – available at Dominique Ansel Kitchen in NYC, Dominique Ansel Bakery Los Angeles, and Dominique Ansel Bakery London – is a slice of juicy, ripe watermelon that’s hollowed out and filled to order with homemade watermelon soft serve, complete with dark chocolate “seeds.”

Unsurprisingly the dish was a huge hit on Instagram when it first launched in 2017, and still remains extremely popular today.


The Haute Dog is topped with passion fruit “mustard.”

Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Haute Dog.

The Haute Dog, available at Dominique Ansel’s London location from September 28 to 30, features a raspberry crème “dog” dipped in Valrhona strawberry chocolate.

It is placed between ladyfinger “buns” soaked in coconut syrup and topped with passion fruit “mustard” and crunchy coconut rocher “kraut.”


The Blossoming Hot Chocolate literally “blossoms” in the cup.

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Blossoming Hot Chocolate.
The Blossoming Hot Chocolate, available at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, is a cup of Chef Ansel’s homemade hot chocolate, topped with a marshmallow flower that “blossoms” when it’s placed into the cup.

How does it work? At first, the flower is surrounded by a ring of white chocolate and bunched up to resemble a closed bud. As the ring begins to melt, the flower blooms and reveals a “chocolate bonbon surprise” inside.


The Pretzel is an homage to NYC’s famous street food snack.

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Pretzel.

Ansel’s aptly-named dessert The Pretzel is part of his collection of NYC-inspired pastries that launched at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Manhattan on July 4th and runs through Labour Day.

The Pretzel is a nod to Manhattan’s iconic street cart soft pretzels, and contains pretzel mousse, caramel, and crunchy peanut butter feuilletine – a crispy pastry made from crêpes.


The Ice Cream Sundae Religieuse features two cream puff “scoops” filled with caramelised chocolate.

Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Ice Cream Sundae Religieuse.

The Ice Cream Sundae Religieuse, available at Dominique Ansel’s London location from September 28 to 30, includes a double-decker cream puff filled with caramelised milk chocolate, whipped ganache, pistachio ganache, and homemade strawberry jam.

The “sundae” is finished with vanilla ganache and a chocolate “cherry” on top.


The Kiwi Sorbet Bar is complete with seeds and “fuzz.”

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Kiwi Sorbet Bar.

Ansel’s Kiwi Sorbet Bar, available during the summer at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, is a refreshing treat made with kiwi sorbet and a Tahitian vanilla ice cream core.

The dessert is coated in rich milk chocolate complete with a “fuzzy” outside texture. And the kiwi “seeds” at the centre are actually poppy seeds in disguise!


The Pineapple Passion fruit Tart has white chocolate “leaves.”

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Pineapple Passion fruit Tart.

The Pineapple Passion fruit Tart, on the menu at Dominique Ansel Bakery Los Angeles, is made from homemade pineapple compote, lime mousse, and passion fruit ganache, all sandwiched between sablé cookies and topped with white chocolate painted green to resemble the leaves.


The Chocolate Mousse & Ganache “Burger” is very well-done.

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Chocolate Mousse & Ganache ‘Burger.’

The Chocolate Mousse & Ganache “Burger” was a limited-time dessert item available on the Valentine’s Day dinner menu at 189 by Dominique Ansel in Los Angeles earlier this year.

It was made with macaron “buns” topped with toasted sesame seeds, pistachio-whipped ganache “lettuce,” and a strawberry gelée slice of “tomato.”


The Pop Fleur is a sophisticated take on a Push-Pop.

Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel KitchenThe Pop Fleur.

The Pop Fleur – available at Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC, Los Angeles, and London – is a refreshing whipped yogurt made with wakamomo, rare Japanese mountain peaches.

Inspired by the piping tips that pastry chefs use to decorate cakes and tarts, Ansel made his own piping tip “lid” for the Pop Fleur. When you push up the yogurt, it blooms into a beautiful flower – genius!

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