Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – Pâtisserie Kanae Kyoto
After a hearty dinner at the unagi don joint, we walked down Kawaramachi Dori towards our next destination. We usually end the day with a dessert and today’s no exception. However, we could enjoy the desserts at the comfort of a sit-in dessert boutique instead of takeaways which we had over the last few days in Japan. Shop space is so limited in downtown Kyoto and Pâtisserie Kanae is no different. But we were glad we’d managed to make time in our itinerary for a trip down here.
The shop only has sitting space for 6, that is three small cafe tables which would sit 2 each. When we’d reached, all three were taken, by three Japanese ladies. Interestingly, one of the ladies got up and sat in an empty seat opposite another lady. The waitresses promptly transferred her drinks over to the other table. What a marvel, I thought to myself. The Japanese people never fail to amaze me…
After putting down our stuff, it was off to the counter to choose our desserts! Despite being passed 8 pm, there was still a good selection left, probably because it’s a weekday evening afterall. From left to right, there’s “Saku-Saku Chocolat“, “Fraise et Pistache“, “Desserts Gateau de Fromage” and “Matcha Kyoto” and “Mont Blanc Kinako” in the background. We’d wanted to try “Matcha Kyoto” but the last remaining piece wasn’t very “photogenic” unfortunately.
On the extreme right is “Macaron Parissienne”
Then there’s “Chocolat Escargot” and 2 “Religieuse” creations, one which is more masculine “Caramel et Cafe” while the other more feminine “Framboise et Pistache”
After much deliberation, we’d finally settled for 2 of their macaron creations. Pâtisserie Kanae is afterall well-known for their macarons and I’m sure they would be worth a try.
With oversized, rose pink macaron shells, Macaron Parissienne echoes of Pierre Herme’s Ispahan. The pistachio buttercream was very delicious and subtle, unlike most other macarons which we’d tasted before that tend to be overtly sweet and heavy. The one concocted for this was entirely manageable, nicely balanced by the sourness of fresh raspberries. The whole piece was set on a thin dark chocolate plaque which added depth to the macaron, giving it a more all rounded finish.
Tarte Macaron is another macaron creation using pâte sucrée baked in crème frangipane as a base. Its topped with buttercream embellished with morsels of strawberry for a more varied texture, and 3 macarons namely lavender, rose and fruits de la passion chocolat.
While the former two floral themed macarons are nicely aromatic, my personal favorite is the chocolate and passionfruit concoction. Unlike Pierre Herme’s Macaron Mogador which uses chocolat au lait, Kanae opted for a darker and more robust chocolat noir which cut through the acridity of passionfruit.
We cannot resist a Mont Blanc when we see one and Kanae’s Mont Blanc ‘Kinako’ is no exception. Like Pâtisserie Sakai which we’d tried the day before, Pâtisserie Kanae attempted to infuse Japanese elements into this classic dessert with the use of きなこ “Kinako” soy bean powder which is commonly used in wagashi 和菓子, especially in 厥餠 warabi mochi.
The contents however, remains rather Mont Blanc like, with the use of strings of marron pate and creme chantilly inside, not forgetting whole chunks of marron glace. There were also a few candied Tamba black beans 丹波蜜黑豆 within the creme chantilly which is not shown in the photo. All these occurred above a pâte sucrée – crème frangipanetart base. On the whole, we felt that this was better than the Mont Blanc d’ Argent we’d had from Pâtisserie Henri Charpentier for breakfast for the sole reason that the bitterness from kinako provided good blance for the sweet marron pate and honeyed marron glace within. This makes dessert making a “very real” business as its clear that this mont blanc is set to be more than just being one-dimensional. however, we can’t help feel that more could have been done to make it more “colloquial”. But “deconstructing” such a classic would almost amount to commit sacrilege! A delicate balance to maintain indeed.
A peek into the lavender infused ganache filling of the lavender macaron.
Tarte Macaron is crowned with a fresh strawberry cut into quarters.
Pâtisserie Kanae offers a wide range of macaron flavours at all times, about 20 of them at one go! Apart from trying some in store, we’d also took some back with us, along side some of Ms Kanae Kobayashi’s publications. We’ll write about those in another post. :)
Beautiful shiny shells, made using the italian meringue method, as I was told during a chat with the store manager. We didnt get to meet Ms Kobayashi in person as she was then at La Petite Cherie, her own baking school during the time of our visit.
The shop also has a small corner offering petit four secs including a good range of sables, madeleines and other mignardises.
Pâtisserie Kanae, a cosy little place tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy traffic along Kawaramachi dori. We would definitely be back the next time we are in Kyoto. :)