Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Limited Edition Goodies Tokyo 2013

With X'mas round the corner, many food stores have started wheeling out limited edition christmas-related items that are too difficult to resist sometimes. Here are some of the stuff that may not be perfectly delicious but at least makes my overseas christmas less miserable.

1) BREAD
もみの木 or FIR TREE is one of the handful Christmas items by Andersen Bakery. The inverted brioche croissant is filled with custard cream and plastered with M & M's and crowned with a Chocolate star.

SANTA
Also by Andersen Bakery, Santa is donned with a messy white beard that tasted slightly awful because it was not cookie dough but some sticky unknown bread dough. Inside is filled with custard. This is one huge bread that is bigger than my face.

SPICED ALMOND CROISSANT
Spices are always important actors in Christmas food. Think mulled wine and spiced fruit cake. A delight to spot this winter edition Almond Croissant that is spiked with 4 spices. I always love Maison Kayser's Almond croissant and this one is even better than the regular item because the sweetness is in check and the aroma of spices just fills up the entire room once you popped open the takeaway paper bag.

KISSES
How can I say no this sexy pink lips? Created by Paris luxury food brand Fauchon, this is a raspberry flavoured plain brioche dotted with pink sugar crystals that lend the bread sweetness and a delightful crunch.

If there is one similarity across bakeries, it's that most of them have come up with their own variations of Kouglof, a traditional bundt cake from Alsace, France. Regardless of the sizes, they usually contain orange peels, raisins or simply brushed with an icing glaze.

Others change the shape of the bundt cake and make them into rings. Apart from Kouglofs, there are also CHRISTMAS WREATH BREAD.

2) WAGASHI (JAPANESE STYLE SWEETS)
Well, Christmas is not just the business of western bakeries or cake shops. Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi, shops show no signs of lagging when it comes to seasonal Christmas Items. Take for example 94-year old wagashi shop Yoshidaya, has come up with this delicate hand-crafted SANTA filled with red bean paste.


CHRISTMAS TREE (TSU-RI)
Also from Yoshidaya is this old-fashioned Christmas tree castella sponge that tastes and smells like our Chinese Huat Kueh.

And guess what? The centre is filled with minced red bean paste (Tsubu-an=paste with visible red beans) and a soft gyuhi, or mochi layer which is much pliable yet won't stick to your teeth.
SNOWMAN YUKIDAMA
This blur-looking Snowman 雪だま with thick eye brows is a traditional manju with red bean paste filling. I did not like to mangle with this Snowman because the manju skin flakes off very easily and made a mess on my table.

3) COOKIES
Strangely, I searched high-and-low for gingerbread cookies but seems like they are less popular than fanciful shaped butter cookies. Picture above are Soft cookies by Paul Bocuse Bakery
SPECULOOS
Fortunately, Maison Kayser saved the day with this very crunchy Speculoos cookie (Speculoos are Dutch spiced cookies with typical ingredients like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger) it might be very flat but this is how it should be because Speculoos dough does not rise much.

4) CAKES
This year's cakes seemed less exciting as 2 years ago and very few shops created cakes that designed to mimic certain objects. One commonly recycled theme is the SNOWMAN.

Kobe patisserie Antenor has come up with this Snowman that is made of 2 cheeses-rare cheese for the head and marscapone cheese for body. Inside the body, there is a vanilla sponge, framboise mousse, almond sponge and bottom is a daquoise.

The best thing I like is the matcha buttercream and the chocolate hat.
BUCHE VICTORIA (PETITE)
Fauchon seems to like pink very much for they have created this neon pink Buche Victoria log cake. Available in petit size shown above, it is a pistachio mousse cake inter-layered with raspberry confiture and daquoise sponge. Turned out to be a rather dry, lackluster cake despite its prestigious brand name.
BUCHE ECLAT (PETITE)
However, Fauchon's Buche Eclat was definitely the most delicious cake among all the cakes listed in this post. Rich luscious milk chocolate with a coagulated blood orange marmalade in the centre and the entire structure is supported with a gooey caraml hazelnut paste that is so milky yet crunchy. Doesn't it look like it has been shot by a bullet in the center?

RUDOLPH
Rudolph the red nose reindeer, had a very shiny nose. When I saw Rudolph lying in the display shelf of Park Hyatt Tokyo Pastry Shop, I knew I had to catch this. It was a simple strawberry mousse cake with strawberry jelly and a moist sponge but the quality of the mousse and sponge were stellar. (Tis' the season for strawberries too~)

As showcased in the earlier post, Buche De Noel from Hyatt Regency

Carameliser and Chocolatier Henri Le Roux which is famous for its signature caramel sweets, has created a buche log cake made with a thin crispy base and mousse that contained three types of chocolate.
The cake is draped in a coffee glacage and transformed into a chic dark beauty with a golden bell.
Finally, this is the last item that I do not know how to categorize. It is a fusion Kouglof by traditional Japanese bread house Kimura-ya which is famous for Anpan (Red Bean Bread).

Made with traditional Japanese wagashi beans-Kuromame, Kintokimame, Uguisu mame and Shiro Ingen Mame, it is less heavier and sweet than western Kouglof. I really like this Kouglof as it tasted like a bean paste bun 豆沙包. 


CHRISTMAS EGGNOG
With just less than 10 days to Christmas and less than 2 weeks to a new 2014, let me wish everyone a Merry X'mas and a Happy New Year with this champagne drink, Christmas Eggnog  (bought from convenience store).

May everyone continue to eat merrily and enjoy a wonderful 2014 with your loved ones! 
Cheers~~Kampai~~

Best Wishes,
dairycream

Stocklist:

  • Andersen Bakery (Isetan Shinjuku and all outlets)
  • Fauchon Takashimaya (Shinjuku/ Nihonbashi)
  • Yoshida-ya (Shinjuku san-chome)
  • Kimura-ya Bread House (Ginza and other outlets)
  • Paul Bocuse Bakery (Tokyo Daimaru)
  • Maison Kayser (Tokyo Daimaru and other outlets)
  • Antenor Patisserie (Tokyo Daimaru and other outlets)
  • Henri Le Roux (Isetan Shinjuku/ Tokyo Midtown)
  • Park Hyatt Tokyo Pastry Shop
  • Hyatt Regency Tokyo Pastry Shop
  • Sunkus Convenience Store  (Eggnog)
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