Yes, finally we begin the reviews on our visits to Pâtisserie Hidemi Sugino. If you are familiar with French pastry, Hidemi Sugino is a name that hardly needs introduction. And I would dare say that you do not know French pastry until you know Hidemi Sugino. Trained and apprenticed at Patisserie Peltier (now defunct) in France and most noted for winning the prestigious Coupe de Monde de la Pâtisserie back in 1991, he quickly became the spotlight upon returning to Japan, first opening an atelier and patisserie in Kobe before starting his own dessert boutique in Tokyo. Since then Hidemi Sugino created a wave of sensation within the Japanese gastronomic scene, attaining popularity like few had before him, with a strong and loyal following of fans and dessert aficionados both locally and abroad. (more…)
Ground too much of those silician pistachios from making Ladurée’s Financier Pistache. That’s just me being overtly zealous … or kiasu, depending on how you want to look at it! So I need use them up quickly before they start to lose all that lovely jadite green. So this is how this cake came about! I’d been wanting to bake this at home for some time already, after learning it at a tea cake class @ Palate Sensations 2 months back. Really love the texture and taste of the cake. Nothing like what I’d had before! Not that the good o’ butter pound is getting boring or what , but this is something which got me really excited. “Wow! Didn’t know a cake could taste like that!”
It feels good to be back in baking again, after an almost month-long hiatus. Been busy with a trail of Asian delights from Cantonese claypot rice to Hainanese Pork Chops, and not to forget a couple of Asian desserts along the way. Quite a walk down memory lane to prepare dishes which I’d learnt to prepare years back, but have not gotten a chance to reprise them over the last year or so, well since the passing of my mother actually. So it felt really warm and nostalgic to get in touch with my culinary roots again, with dishes that ignited my love for food and cooking many moons back. But life has to move on, so here I am back again, having fun once more with flour, eggs, butter and sugar! First off with a simple petit four, Ladurée’s Financier Pistache…
No reviews on the works of a patisserie is complete without a look at their entremets, which in my humble opinion, is one of the litmus test to the skills and creativity in taste, texture and technique for a patissier. Then again, I have a whole checklist of lil’ quirky things which I look out for when I visit a new patisserie, e.g. how smooth is the creme patisserie made, how thin is the L’Opera being layered and how neatly is it being cut etc… much like how seemingly trivial tamagoyaki making skills, amidst his knife skills, is attesting to the greatness of a sushi chef.
Bearing contrast and yet homogenising all the components together, bringing about conflict and yet blending in everything in perfect harmony, tantalising the tastebuds and yet provide equilibrium all within the confinements of that small oblongish slab of cake, mousse and what nots; not an easy task if you ask me…
pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI paris ‘s dessert boutiques in Taipei were THE places which we were looking forward the most to visit on our trip to Taipei last year. Having read so much about him and his works, we were in dire need to sample some of his creations. It is our closest call we could ever get to pastry heaven. Pierre Herme is still another 3 hours away in Tokyo but going to Aoki is by no means settling for second best! With his macarons highly raved amongst fellow dessert afficionadoes online, little deliberation is required when we were considering takeaways back to Singapore on our last day. So here on Macaron Day, we share them with you!
I’m “fast forwarding” my Japan posts to bring to you guys the Le Cordon Bleu Macarons from Kobe! “Nan desu de?!” some of you might ask. ‘Cos in barely 2 weeks’ time on 20th March is Le Jour de Macaron aka Macarons Day! This day which celebrates the popular French confectionery was initiated by no other than the man who revolutionised macaron gastronomie, Pierre Hermé. Since its inauguration 7 years ago, Macarons Day is celebrated by many patisseries around France, with notable names like Sadaharu Aoki, Dalloyau, Laurent Duchêne and Jean-Paul Hévin, just to name a few. It has since spread across the Altantic to NYC and Toronto, as well as the rest of the world! And over at Aspiring Bakers, we are having celebrating it for one whole month with “Aspiring Bakers #17 – March Macaron Madness!”
We visited Kobe as a day trip on our second last day in Kansai. It was an impromptu decision actually as we’d initially decided to stay put in Osaka after visiting Kyoto and Nara a couple of days back. But we kinda ran out of places to visit in Osaka, which is pretty much of a business and commercial hub, with much less character and history than its neighbouring cities and towns. So it was off to Kobe for more patisserie hunting!