As with many cookbooks in my ever-growing collection, I'll be using this one for ideas, rather than recipes. On their own, the recipes aren't that tricky - although some call for obscure ingredients such as trimoline, maltodextrin and charcoal powder - but each dessert requires several components. Another snag for the home cook is that most of these recipes are meant for 20 to 30 servings, although it's easy to scale down the amounts because measurements are given in metric weights.
Janice Wong, of the 2am:dessertbar in Singapore, has worked with big names such as Pierre Hermé and Oriol Balaguer, and was crowned the best pastry chef by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants in 2013 and 2014. So it's to be expected that her desserts are going to be a lot more complicated than a quenelle of ice cream plated next to a slice of cake before being decorated with a swoosh of raspberry coulis and pistachio praline dots. The photography makes the desserts look like works of art - although it can also make the recipes difficult to read because they're printed over the images.
The desserts are inventive with different flavours and textures. "The Garden" calls for white chocolate shell, dill flower ice cream, orange blossom jelly, ginger flower ganache, pistachio chestnut cake, lavender jelly, muscovado contacts, marshmallows, berries, strawberry skins and infused grapes. For the "Sweet Salty Popcorn" you'll need to make yuzu parfait, sweet and salty popcorn parfait, popcorn powder, malt liquid, passion fruit sorbet and cherry sauce.
Not all the desserts are that complicated, though. Super lemon explosion has only three components - and one of them is purchased: lemon liquid, white chocolate coating and popping candy (such as Pop Rocks). For the churros, you'll just need to make the pastry dough then pipe it straight into hot oil before draining, dusting with cinnamon sugar and serving with chocolate sauce.
Perfection in Imperfection - A Culinary Journey Through the Senses of Chef Janice Wong