Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Battle of the Matcha Cream Puff

Beard Papa is already a well established cream puff brand with shops all over the world. Would you give it a try if you have already tried in back in your country?
Well...it can be a difficult decision whether to invest in one, as there is the possibility that the cream puff may disappoint. But if one never try at all, one cannot tell if the brand in it's original country can perform up to expectation.
Attracted by this poster, I finally decided to find out whether the cream puff here matches or is even better than the one I've had before. The fragrant aroma of fresh-from-the-oven choux cream puff shells that wafted distance away from the shop was a big draw factor.
Interestingly, there are only 2 flavours to choose from-original custard/seasonal. One can pick from 3 different types of shells-original (180 yen), paris brest (190 yen) and cookie chou (200 yen). And of course, the crispy cookie chou was my pick.
crispy skin that stayed crispy despite being in contact with the cream for more than an hour, the puff was bursting with matcha filling even though i only saw the empty shell being piped twice. 
ほろ苦い京都の宇治抹茶を、コクのある特製生クリームとカスタードに合わせ、アクセントにほっこり甘く炊き上げたあずきを加えました。 
What makes this different from the usual matcha cream filling is the addition of azuki beans. (see that speckles of black bits amidst the green pool of cream?) Perhaps this is also the reason why it is sweeter than the Hirota cream puff below.
Also another seasonal edition contender is from long time cream puff maker Hirota(since 1924). Only available till end May. Four pieces in a box. 
As Hirota stated that it used premium green tea from 丸久小山園, a 
famous Kyoto Matcha Producer, the taste of the matcha is evidently 

much more bitter and stronger in Hirota's version

However, the weaker point is the cream puff shell that is too soft and 

bland in taste. 

In the end, I would still pick Beard Papa's Cream Puff. Though cream 

puff might seemed simple, it pays a great deal of attention to make a 

good one. It was a relief to know that Beard Papa has still maintained its standards up till today..

Links: 
Beard Papa: http://www.beardpapa.jp/
Hirota :http://www.the-hirota.co.jp

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

抹茶の季節IV:Zen 禅


パティスリー「風と土」Patisserie Kazetotsuchi's Spring Creation-Zen 禅
甘さの中にほんのり苦みを感じる宇治抹茶とホワイトチョコムースで洋酒が香るバニラクリームを包みました。中には丹波産の黒豆が隠れています。The name of the product speaks a lot about the quality of this petite creation by a Japanese chef.

Very smooth and bitter matcha mousse encasing liquor-accented white chocolate mousse. Black beans are hidden within the white chocolate mousse and the base is a green tea sponge.If you translate kazetotsuchi it means wind and soil. Actually, the concept behind this patissier of the shop is very simple--to incorporate natural/local ingredients into their products. This petit gateux is highly recommended as it is not too rich in terms of creaminess or sweetness and yet has brought out the flavours of matcha without relying on the traditional red beans.
徳島産業 /DESSERT LABO・DOUGHNUT STYLE DESSERT・抹茶&あずき
Matcha Doughnuts made without flour? Impossible
This is actually matcha red bean pudding fitted into a doughnut mould.
Because kanten powder is used in making this product, the texture is in between a mousse and a jelly.of course this is much more healthier than a real doughnut. Another plus point about this is that the matcha flavour is very strong, much stronger than expected from it's looks. Again, the azuki bean paste is sweet and can be left out.
玄米フレーク クリスプ 抹茶ミルク 
Kelloggs Bran Flakes Crispy Matcha Milk ("Healthy" Snack)栄養バランスに優れた玄米が主原料のシリアルが入ったビスケット。玄米の香ばしさに、抹茶のほろ苦さとミルクのまろやかな甘みがマッチしたおいしさです。
An ideal snack to have because the biscuits have been fortified with lots of nutrients like calcium and iron. Most importantly, the taste is not compromised even though the idea of cornflakes may seem boring to some people. 
Glico Panapp Matcha Kuromitsu Ice Cream
Matcha Ice Cream sandwiched with layers of dark chocolate shards and black sugar syrup. An ice cream that resembles a millefeuille.
Crunchy and the texture of the ice is much better than the Lotte Matcha Ice. The crispness of the chocolate is sufficient to substitute the texture that ice cream cone gives.
アルフォート抹茶 Bourbon Matcha Chocolate Biscuit
抹茶チョコレート&ダイジェスティブビスケット くつろぎのティータイムに風味豊かな味わい
サクサクとした食感のダイジェスティブビスケットに、帆船を形どった抹茶味のチョコレートを組み合わせたオリジナルなチョコレートビスケットです
I must say Bourbon has been very aggressive in its matcha products sales. This is another kind that has the matcha chocolate encased around the digestive biscuit instead of sandwiched in between. Apparently according to some sources, the picture of a ship is imprinted on every product of this series and is actually linked to its name"アルフォート".  



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