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December 17 , 2008

The Sweet Spot


When it comes to Asian desserts, most Americans think of fortune cookies. But, in fact, the Far East is home to a dazzling array of sweets rich with tropical fruits, crunchy nuts, aromatic spices, and, yes, even chocolate.

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In The Sweet Spot, renowned pastry chef Pichet Ong presents a collection of one hundred recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, puddings, ice creams, candies, and more. There are traditional Asian desserts with innovative twists, such as Sesame Balls, Mango Sticky Rice, and Almond Tofu, and classic American favorites, like Spiced Coconut Brownies, Banana Cream Pie, and Cream Puffs, livened up with Asian ingredients and cooking techniques.

Eschewing the heavy use of butter and sugar, Ong instead highlights the vibrant flavors of Asia—jasmine, lychee, orange blossom water, passion fruit, yuzu, mangosteen, and sesame, to name just a few. And despite the complexity of flavors and textures, all of the recipes are easy enough to make in home kitchens, requiring minimal effort for maximum results. Dazzle dinner-party guests with elegant showstoppers—Thai Tea White Chocolate Tart, Coconut Cream Pie with Toasted Jasmine Rice Crust—or delight the family with simple weeknight treats—Pomegranate Sherbet, Ginger Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

The Sweet Spot includes lush color photographs of almost all of the finished dishes, and a foreword from legendary restaurateur and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Savory Asian cuisine has been popular in America for years. Now it's time to embrace the enticing range of exotic desserts.

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