Super Strict Score [understand my S3]: 6.5
Café café: 10
Caramel réligieuse: 8 [I really wanted to give this a 10 but blame yourself, chef pâtissier Fukakusa]
In 1 word: Screw 5-a-day
On that particular day, I was actually trying to check out Pâtisserie Acidracines for the 3rd time.
First time unlucky: Chef pâtissier Hashimoto Futoshi absent on a self-discovery journey for several weeks, without that being earmarked on Acidracines’ website.
Second time unlucky: Cakes sold out.
Third time still-no-luck: Another no-show.
Plan B: Ravi,e relier – oh wait, they’re having an extra day off today as well.
What else do we have on the list… Finally, I decide on another fairly recent [Nov 2013] addition to the Osaka pâtisserie scene, Lafca [Facebook] [Callebaut couvertures FTW] & go for:
- Café café
Coffee mousse macaron, chocolate + coffee mousse, coffee brûlée, dacquoise, praliné crumble. For once, the coffee didn’t completely overwhelm the chocolate, even though the chocolate was quite mellow & even though there was coffee in more components than chocolate. Somehow, it was a very coffeey cake but with very subtle flavors, the sweet- & bitterness from the chocolate complementing the coffee & crunchy, nutty praliné providing some bitey texture. A cake of restrained elegance that nevertheless left a lingering impression on the taste buds. An extreme surprise, as I usually don’t even like coffee cakes that much, but chef pâtissier Mr. Fukakusa got about everything right with this cake.
- Caramel réligieuse
Cream puff pastry, caramel custard, sautéd pear, caramel whipped cream, mini puffs with custard. The puff pastry was the best I’ve had in Japan so far, a bit moist, very rich, eggy & buttery. The caramel elements were intense & not very sweet, striking a balance with the pastry. My only criticism would’ve been the pear – I can see where Mr. Fukakusa wanted to go with it, but it wasn’t ripe enough & on top of that it made for some rather messy eating.
Orange infused milk chocolate mousse, orange cream, praliné feuillantine, hazelnut dacquoise. Another classic combination in milk chocolate + orange, although personally I can’t help but feel dark chocolate would complement orange much better. As with most milk chocolate cakes, the chocolate was very unnoticeable. Excellent hazelnut dacquoise, providing a distinctly nutty base for the whole cake & together with the praliné giving the cake some welcome textures. Serious deductions for the weird, aroma-like orange flavor.
Classic chocolate + raspberry match-up. While the raspberry & chocolate tastes were distinctly discernible, the cake lacked emphasis.
Berry tea infused chocolate mousse with blackberry cream & cocoa génoise. The berry tea flavor in the chocolate mousse from the tea was rather weird, it tasted sort of cheap & artificial. The blackberry cream on top was a much more welcome element, with some good berry flavor, although it was on the sweet side. The chocolate, while tasty, didn’t linger at all. A nice enough cake, but without leaving an impression.
3rd time unlucky, but 3rd choice & not much left to wish for [just avoid anything with fruit at Lafca, which is right up my street anyway] – I guess it was a sign I should forget about Acidracines.