Friday, August 29, 2008

A little taste of Hokkaido - Nouvelle Pâtisserie Japonaise Kitakaro 北菓楼

Nouvelle Pâtisserie Japonaise Kitakaro 北菓楼

One of the notable pâtisseries from my southern Hokkaido trip....and being situated in Otaru 小樽, the history and hospitality of the location only made Kitakaro that much more memorable. This gem hides within a gray stone complex, and if it wasn't for the honey floral aroma that disbursed from within, I would have mistaken it for a historical Japanese bathhouse, grand but eccentric....

As I walk inside the tunnel that spanned the broad walls, the welcoming lights emerged into sight, followed by elegant displays of their signature sweets. The aroma intensified....unique combination of fragrance from honey, eggs and flour could only be the results of on-premise baking! With a few broken Japanese phrases, and a little squeezing through the immense crowd waiting to exchange their gold for the delectable, I have arrived to the kitchen for the demonstration of their most priced item - Baumkuchen 妖精の森, which translates to "The Fairy Forest"....the tree-ring pattern of the cake represents the forest, whereas the golden sheen on the cake, the inviting aroma, and the exquisite flavour of this signature piece could certainly live up to the enchanted beauty of fairies.

With just one tasting, I was sold....the delicate flavour of maple and honey balanced well with the sweetness and buttery richness of the cake. It was moist yet light in texture....delightful with a cup of Earl Grey and lemon *will speak more about my devotion to Earl Grey as an ingredient later....

The Japanese are known to have intricate inspirations for their machinery designs....and they have done it again....a special oven just to achieve the perfection of 妖精の森....words alone wouldn't do justice here....heh....please check out the video featuring the making~!

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