It is often difficult to access the cakes that are delicately made by individual chefs whose shops are outside Tokyo. However, in Shinjuku Takashimaya, there is a semi-cafe cum exhibition booth that displays the works of at least 10 different pastry chefs every day. The chefs featured changed every season or monthly and there is also information regarding the chefs who are featured.
As such, one can get a view of the top-notched cakes by budding chefs who might not have the budget to open a shop in Tokyo. However, the problem for the consumer arise when one has to choose which one to try.
ノワイエ All about Walnuts
Walnuts Tart, Pecan Nougat, Walnut Mousseくるみのタルト、胡桃のヌガー、くるみのムースを組み合わせました。
I am not a great fan of nuts but this cake really suits my taste. It is the first time coming across a cake that features all about one main type of nut--walnut. Since walnuts are good for the brain, there is more than sufficient reason to eat this. The mousse has a nutty aroma but not sweet at all. The caramelized walnuts at the centre has a dark bitter taste which adds a contrasting texture to the cake. The tart shell is literally not a typical tart shell. Why? Because it has some holes in it that makes it seem like a thin wafer-like biscuit.
店長の藤巻正夫です。The cake was made by him and I must say that he looks like a kind person=) which might be why the cake was very worth the money for that size and the quality. It is the biggest among the cakes listed in this post.
Jeanー Paul Thiebaut's Petite Package プチパケThe presentation is very interesting as the outer layer is made up of entirely solid dark chocolate. Can't tell what is hidden inside and thus it has a Suprise! element.
The Surprise in the Box!To eat the cake, one has to open the box, which is literally lifting the chocolate box and tadaa....the delicious mousse cake is revealed. Not sweet and the combination of coffee-chocolate-caramel-praline crunch is my one of my favourites.
The chocolate present box is made by Chef Jean Paul Thiebaut, who is the only foreigner chef featured here.
La Vie Douce's Caramel Poire 【LA VIE DOUCE（ラ・ヴィ・ドゥース）】ポワールキャラメル国産の洋ナシを使用したケーキ, 洋ナシのシャリシャリとした食感が楽しめます。
This is a vanilla accented pear mousse sitting on top of a swiss roll of caramel mousse. The pear mousse had the natural sweetness to it but the sponge layer of the swiss roll was slightly dry and tough.
La Vie Douce has two shops. One in Shinjuku and the other in Yokohama.For more info: http://www.laviedouce.jp/
Platino's Coffee Meringue プラチノ
Owner and Chef 田勢克也 of Platino. He started the shop with his wife and once again, all their products are hand made by the chef. For more info: http://www.platino.jp/index.html
The coffee meringue looked quite interesting to me as I wonder what else could be hidden inside the cake. However, as the cake is sliced into half, the components are actually the mousse and the meringue. The bitter coffee mousse did manage to curb the sweetness of the meringue but its simplicity makes it less impressive than the rest of the cakes.
キャラメル風味のガナッシュをヘーゼルナッツメレンゲで挟み、ヘーゼルナッツバタークリームで包みましたThis one consists of a top and bottom hazelnut meringue and mainly sandwiched with hazelnut buttercream. The dark layer is the caramel ganache.
cross section of the cake
This is wrapped with toasted hazelnuts chips. This entremet was slightly disappointing as it was served right out from the refrigerator and this affected the texture. As the cake was made up of buttercream, the taste was too rich, not rich as in the creamy sense but leaning towards eating solid butter. I would prefer if this is mixed with some hazelnut mousse. The hazelnut flavour was not very accented and makes this Puissance's cake an average one.
Chef 井上佳哉 of Puissance
Puissance is a shop in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City. The shop was opened in September, 2001. For more info, http://www.puissance.jp
Patisserie Le Planetes' Millefeuille Caramel
Le Planetes is a shop by Chef Koji Yamamoto. The first shop was in Omiya northern suburbs of Tokyo and has since opened 3 more shops in Yokohama and Fukuoka. Like many other chefs, he also conducted classes, teaching many of his signature cakes to mostly female students.
The caramel millefeuille is quite different from the rest because it has a gooey top caramel that is not as liquid as it seems. It sticks on to the top puff pastry and will not make a mess. The puff pastry is very crispy but the custard cream was too sweet. The salted caramel taste was too light to be noticeable.