Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hidemi Sugino

Cakes were never my thing and i never understood the appeal of a mousse cake. Chocolate cakes I don’t mind but I really don’t get frosting and icing. The thing is I really don’t have a sweet tooth, so with food cravings, I would crave savoury, salt, crunchy but almost never sweet. That being said that has never stopped me from watching Top Chef Desserts where I’ve learnt (in theory) about entremets – a multilayered mousse based cake that should consist of a different but complementary flavours and textural elements. The cakes always look pretty on TV or on display but do they always taste that good?

We were in Tokyo and since Hidemi Sugino is so highly regarded mousse cake realm of the dessert hemisphere that I ought to consider giving it 2-3 bites. We found the store just before it opened and joined the line of 10-15 women that were already in line. When the clock struck the opening hour, the shop staff flipped the sign, then stepped out and apologised for the wait and to welcome us into the store (I’m guessing here and imagining my own subtitles because I don’t speak Japanese). We waited our turn and shuffled into the store and picked out a few items. There are strict rules around the consumption of some of these items – only dine in, no take outs because the will compromise the integrity of the cake.

The Ambroisie, Hidemi’s most famous cake, is one of those cakes that fall in eat in category only. When the cake arrived, it looked precious and the chocolate glaze had a really glossy shine. Next I had my wannabe Top Chef judge Dessert moment, where I split the cake down the middle to inspect the layers - dark chocolate glaze, chocolate mousse, pistachio sponge, pistachio mousse, raspberry jam, chocolate sponge. The mousse, which Hidemi is well known for, is velvet smooth, rich tasting and light. The most distinct flavour for me was the chocolate mousse. It was clean and clear with the sweet tartness of the raspberry jam. The texture was also amazingly smooth that just melted away in my. What I loved most about his cake was the balance of flavour and sweetness. It was a beautiful cake, I’m glad I had it because it changed my mind about mousse cakes, however, it was pretty rich stuff, I only managed half the cake and that was enough for me.

Hidemi Sugino
Kyobashi-Daiei Bldg 1F
3-6-17 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 (03)-3538-6780

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