Super Strict Score [understand my S3]: 7
Meringue chantilly: 10
Lemon tart: 6
In 1 word: Domori
This gem of a pâtisserie is in the boonies, about 3 km from the nearest station if walking through farming fields is acceptable to you, or ~4.5 km from another, if you prefer moving around in the safety of a rural-urban street network. For all those that would feel daunted by such a challenge, I can assure Bébé is well worth one or the other, even in 12 cm heels [you’re welcome].
Even better than all those Valrhona splashing chocolate junkies, Bébé beckoned to me flagging the promise of the use of my revered bean-to-bar maker Domori couvertures & I was delighted to have a shot at:
- Meringue chantilly
In general, meringue chantilly I have very mixed feelings about – great pâtissiers have tried their hand at this pastry &, in the wattwurmnashi books, failed. Usually, they just taste like sugared nothing but this might have been my best meringue chantilly ever. It was a salted caramel take & the amazing caramel cream had different sorts of flavor explosions going on at the same time, ranging from nutty to cocoa to slight notes of coffee, but never sweet. All in all, this cake wasn’t very sweet at all, which is an amazing feat in itself considering what meringue is. I’ve had so many meringues but never one as non-sweet as this one & I loved it. It had perfect texture as well, as you could easily break off a piece with your fork, unlike other meringues I’ve had where you first had to dismantle the whole cake & then hack away at the meringue, hoping you wouldn’t stab someone in the eye through sending meringue pieces flying all through the room. It would be hard to appoint a winner between Bébé & Cadeau de Rincotté’s equally amazing meringue chantilly tried & te/asted here, & although their reviews read sort of similar, funnily, they were actually quite different.
Génoise, strawberry & plain cream, strawberries, Grand Marnier
Bébé’s take on one of my most-despised pâtisseries, strawberry shortcake, I was intrigued by the mention of Grand Marnier in the description & the pink color scheme. Couldn’t discern the Grand Marnier but I’m sure it was there because this cake actually tasted of something, which is something strawberry shortcake can’t normally lay claim to. I can’t really explain what was so fantastic about it because it was as simple as it looks, génoise, cream, strawberries, & apparently Grand Marnier, but it was sublime.
Chocolate génoise, chopped almonds, Domori Sur del Lago 75% butter cream
Made from Domori couverture, the bûcheron was amazing because it didn’t taste like any of your run of the mill chocolate cakes but the special personality of the Sur del Lago couverture utilized really came out well, finishing strong with a pronouncedly strong, dark, deep flavor.
Puff pastry, crème au praliné
The rich, nutty smell emanating from this pastry was a taste, so to speak, of more to come. The praliné cream was luscious & tasted fresh, not made from ready-made praliné which is what most pâtisseries in Japan use. To its great demise, the puff pastry was off – too dark, too dry, too crispy. Fortunately, there was lots of the delicious praliné cream, which is why at the end of the day the somewhat dubious pâte didn’t matter all as much as it could have.
Pistachio mousse, Kirsch mousse, génoise, candied pistachios
Astonishingly, the predominant taste here wasn’t pistachio, but just plain sweet, + spirit. The pistachio mousse didn’t taste much like pistachio, or nutty at all but just sweet. A second, light-colored mousse was presumably just cream based with a LOT of Kirsch. There were also some cherry halves, also very thoroughly soaked in Kirsch that I didn’t even bother trying because this whole cake reeked of Kirsch & would’ve stuck a spirit cloud to a teetotaler. The candied pistachios on top were the only good thing about this cake but by far not good enough to salvage it in any way. It just didn’t come together for me at all. On paper, it was an interesting take on the all abundant pistachio-cherry combo but Kirsch doesn’t even really taste like cherry so basically what it was was a purported pistachio but in reality plain sugar cake with lots of alcohol & that already sounds disgusting.
For details on the other cakes, click here
To conclude, using Domori can’t be overrecommended, Bébé have perfected some classics to a hitherto unencountered degree, & they aren’t shy on the bottle. Unfortunately, in most cases, herein lies Bébé’s problem. They seem to operate their pâtisserie by the motto of the more alcohol, the better. Now I, already in stark contrast to a lot of Japanese people, love alcohol in my cakes – in moderation. But not 2 double shots in a single piece of cake.