Putting cake into a jar is not exactly a novel concept but Grin affair has successfully introduced this business to the local market.
When I first heard of it, I had doubts about the taste as it has about 12+3 new types of selection but each follows the formula of sponge cake+mousse+crumbs/nuts and the sponge cake revolves around mocha, chocolate and vanilla. Furthermore, though the location was accessible by mrt, it was not easy to locate after that by foot.
Nonetheless, curiosity still won me over and decided to give it a try.In order to maximize the variety, I tried not to pick those with repeated ingredients though it was still inevitable to encounter the vanilla sponge quite often.
Out of the 4 flavours, this new product CARAMEL ($6.50) was VERY GOOD. With the crunchy almond nibs crust, vanilla cake, caramel mousse, topped with brown sugar meringue and that luscious sea salt dulce de leche, how could one find fault in this golden formula?
And speaking of vanilla cake, it was still as moist and soft like pillow despite being compressed by all the mousse on top. I must say the cake layer is one of the best in Singapore.
The jars of cake were pretty heavy as the components are packed like sardines leaving no air holes at all.
The second best was the DARK CHOCOLATE ($5.50) of dark chocolate mousse, chocolate cake and yes, sea salt dulce de leche again. But having something as good as sea salt caramel sauce for twice or thrice was not a big problem.
What's more? The dark chocolate ganache dome was fillled with surprise of salty crumbs which balanced the richness of the bittersweet chocolate. With the generous amount of good quality mousse that can be comparable to other standalone pastry shops or hotels, eating this was just like digging into gold mine, or more precisely a chocolate mine.
Perhaps the first two set the bars too high that the last two was rather disappointing. As an old saying goes too many cooks spoil the broth, I say one bad ingredient ruins the cake.
The Matcha ($5.50), so to speak, had decent matcha mousse, not too sweet but stiffened red bean, a repeated component of vanilla cake. But the walnut topping tarnished everything as it had turned rancid and was extremely bitter.
The another new product APPLE ($7.00) was not as exciting as the first two not because I am biased towards caramel or chocolate but the dense apple cinnamon bread pudding with cranberries became dry and hard to swallow with little custard to go along with. The pecan crumble with orange zest on top did not enhance the texture nor the flavour.
Perhaps the ingredients are fresh but due to the way it is sold(the caps of the jars are removed and replaced with a paper cover /aluminum foil), it was inevitable that the contents will be exposed to air. But that is to encourage customers to return the jars to exchange for dried fruits(takes 12) or a free jar of cake (takes 20). The incentive is not huge enough for me to return but I am still willing to try other flavours like BANOFFEE.
Considering the price of $5.50-$6.50 (with the APPLE being the exception at $7) and the sizeable portions, Grin Affair offers quite a reasonable desserts without burning your pocket. And the CARAMEL and CHOCOLATE are both good enough for you to skip the rest.
After all, while many French or Japanese cakes are delicate and very pretty, aren't they just the same when the components are recast into a jar? Grin Affair might be a simple affair but it will leave you grinning :)
3 Everton Park (Below HDB block)