Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – Cannelé and Macarons from Pâtisserie Kanae
After dinner and the visit to Pâtisserie Kanae, we were positive bloated!!! Some of you would probably disagree, but I couldnt take another macaron. “What?! Alan cannot take another macaron? Impossible!” some of you would probably gasp in disbelief. Lol
Well, not being able to eat another macaron in situ certainly didn’t stopped us from taking away some with us. Pâtisserie Kanae is well known from its macaron selection and to leave here without some macarons would almost be like commiting a cardinal sin!
We brought along with us a small sampling of flavours to try. Interesting when we were in Osaka, we didn’t chance upon many pâtisseries which have Japanese-inspired flavours like what we’d expected. Most carried the usual flavours like “chokoleto” and “banilla”, casting a rather large safety net. The closest that was offered was probably matcha, very representative but mild and much of a clique to say the very least. Pâtisserie Kanae offered a very good selection of flavours, especially wagashi themed macarons. And those were precisely the ones we went for.
“Sakura”, in pastel pink for the seasonal flavour of pickled cherry blossoms to usher in the then approaching spring, “takesumi” bamboo charcoal for that intense and somewhat surreal ebony, “kurogoma” for the robust aromas from freshly roasted and crushed black sesame and “sansho” for a real spicy kick in the ass!
I had expected the macaron to be sweet but its not! Owing to the pickled cherry blossoms used, the filling was more savory with a delicate scent of cherry blossoms. It was very refreshing as cream filling infused with shiro-an was very light. More like eating a wagashi piece but with crisp macaron shells which were chewy on the insides.
The black bamboo macaron, despite its somewhat mysterious appeal, failed to leave a lasting impression. For one, I didnt even have anything joted down on my notebook on it. Quite a drab one to pass…
Sesame seeds with a milk chocolate ganache filling, a pairing which I didn’t think would work initially but went quite well actually. The milk chocolate lends a familiar sweetness while the black sesame seeds provided more depth. I especially the sensation of toasted sesame seeds rupturing under the palate with every bite, sending whiffs of aroma up the nasal cavity.
“Sansho” 山椒 was another odd pairing , japanese peppercorn and chocolat noir. Now if this is not sensational, I do not know what is. I first got the slight amaroidal taste from the dark chocolate used. Very premium stuff, dark and serious, with some fruity tones towards the end. If you think that this is all the macaron is about, boy oh boy are you wrong. This is when the real diva struts in, the peppercorn, all feisty and definitely not shy to leave an impression. And leaving an impression it most certainly did. The peppercorn lent spiciness but not heat. But it was by no means mild as it left my tongue numbed for a good few minutes, and that’s after downing water in copious amounts. So yes, I was quite literally lost for words for quite a while. Whoever said the bad kid on the block can’t look so vanilla-ly innocent.
Just as we were about to make our move, I saw a small presentation of perfectly browned cannelés over the counter. Just couldnt resist bringing one back.
Cannelés, for those who’d tried making them would probably tell you that these little ” french cakes” are much harder to make than they look. The browning was almost certainly only possible with copper moulds, which would cost a small fortune just to get a dozen of them. And I simply adore the sheen on the surface from the mixture of beewax that was used to coat the interiors of the copper moulds.
The exterior was wonderfully caramelised and provided that characteristic crunch and crackle which I always look out for in a good cannele. The interior was slightly on the dense side but nonetheless very custardy and delicious, with hints of vanilla and rum even after being baked for so long. They are seriously wicked. So good that made me go out and get a set of copper moulds and beewax to try make them at home. Hopefully they will turn out fine. But there’s only one way to find out. 🙂