Next door to his sleek restaurant P*ONG, pastry chef Pichet Ong has opened a small, sunlit bakery called Batch. The treats here little cupcakes, chewy cookies, and cupped puddings are far more familiar. But the tastes may not be, as Ong leaves out extra sugar, eggs, and gelatin to keep flavors pure and textures light. A refrigerated case displays coconut-calamansi layer cake, rhubarb-crme roulade, and Ovaltine pudding served over sliced bananas with a smattering of caramelized Rice Krispies. But the goodies on the counter have less descriptive name tags, so we asked the sociable chef to give a tour of his inventory. After the jump, a guide to the counter. Alexandra Vallis
1. Red Island Vanilla Extract: Ong partnered with this start-up brand and carries its Madagascar-vanilla sugar and fleur de sel, which is great on roasted carrots.
2. Cupcakes (clockwise from left):
Lemon: Vanilla-bean cake filled with lemon curd. The vanilla buttercream frosting is spiked with lemon zest.
Carrot: Shredded Chantenay carrots imported from Canada create a more concentrated flavor. A whipped cream-cheese center flecked with lime zest peeks through the top of the cake, which has a brown-sugar glaze.
Vanilla: Vanilla-bean cake frosted with buttercream and topped with an edible flower.
Chocolate Dragon Devil's Food: The cake is filled with salted, oolong-tea-infused caramel crme. The chocolate ganache on topped with edible sparkles.
Banana: Spiced banana cake with a banana-crme center is topped with buttercream stracciatella made with crushed Valrhona chocolate.
Green Tea: Filled with blackberry crme, frosted with matcha buttercream, and topped with shredded coconut.
3. Vietnamese Coffee Cake: Made with chicory-laced Vietnamese coffee and glazed with condensed milk.
5. Brownies: Spiced with Syrian Aleppo pepper.
6. Blondies: Madagascar-vanilla batter combined with smashed couverture chocolate. (Chips dont melt as well.)
7. Flowers: Citrus shortbread cookies glazed with yuzu frosting. Pink Ribbon Cookies: Dehydrated fresh strawberries flavor and colored frosting; the shortbread cookies benefit the Walk for the Cure.
8. Pineapple Tarts: Nubs of caramelized fresh pineapple are wrapped in pie crust and poked with cloves to resemble baby clementines.
9. Cookies, from left: Walnut Melts, Ginger Molasses Cookies, Chocolate Mint.
10. Cookies, from left: Ginger-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies, Crushed-Peanut Cookies, Chocolate-Chip Cookies (couverture chocolate replaces traditional chips).
11. Chocolate Kissed: These dark-chocolate-hazelnut cookie sandwiches are filled with hazelnut-flavored chocolate ganache.
12. Chocolate-Pecan Tarts