Green Pumpkin Japanese Bakery Part 2 – Yuzu Cheesecake and Sakura Buttercream
Apart from their regular chestnut and kubocha mont blancs, I’d also picked up a few other pieces of their “signature bakes” at Green Pumpkin@NEX. Helmed as a “Japanese Bakery”, Green Pumpkin incorporates a range of Japanese-themed ingredients into their wares. I was pleasant surprised by how well the Pumpkin Mont Blanc went. The earthy tones from kabocha and apt level of sweetness made the piece quite delish. Hence, there’s much anticipation when I took on their Yuzu cheesecake, since the Japanese citrus is one of my personal favorite and ingredient of choice when it comes to dessert-making. Sadly, Green Pumpkin’s success with their Kabocha Mont Blanc did not perpetuate and resonate further to their other pieces.
The yuzu cheesecake has a tofu-like softness to it. If you are a fan of silky beancurd, you would probably enjoy this piece, provided that you are not told that its a cheesecake to start with. But given that its really a cheesecake albeit in disguise, I couldn’t help but wonder where the “cheeziness ” in it lies. There’s far too much gelatin added to it. The coagulation of the cheese (if any was used at all) made it develop an almost konnyaku jelly like texture. Hence, its perpetually void of the taste, creaminess and fluffiness one would immediately associate with a well-executed cheese-based piece. yes, zilch…
The true flavours of yuzu were also not fully explored, let alone exploited, given that only candied yuzu rind in heavy syrup, probably Korean Yuja Citron Tea was used. Not very Japanese is it? Flavours were mild, put politely. None of the overhwehelming aroma and overbearing tartness one would expect from the fruit. If I were to be yuzu, I’d probably cry foul and lament at the undignified sacrifice of being crafted into this. The base used a piece of sponge which had soaked up too much liquids that leached and gravitated from the components above, causing the base to disintegrate into oblivion when held up. It doesnt do very much to improve on the diversity of the textures of the cake.
Its a very pretty piece I must say, with the little candied sitting in the middle like a little rind of gold. Tis just unfortunate that it doesn’t taste as fab as it looks. If you like yuja citron tea (which I do!), you would probably like this piece. But if you’d tasted yuzu before, you would, like me, find this piece severely lacking and dissatisfying.
Sakura Buttercream Cake is another cake “popular” amongs food bloggers. The main criticism from everyone lies on the texture of the buttercream, which I’m afraid that I have to concur. The buttercream used, despite being only thinnly spread between layers of sponge, was overtly cloying. Then again, I’m no fan of buttercream to start with. So the cake is not to be blamed for my bias? Well, its not all bad I guess. I enjoyed the caramelised walnuts embedded within the lowest layers of the cake. It renders a slight bitterness which made the piece overall more realistic. Surrying around and nibbling on these little caramelised morsels were the
only saving moments.
It does look quite pretty doesn’t it? In a very girlish pastel pink. I loved the folds created on the top with a St Honore piping nozzle. The embellishment of picked sakura no hana was also a nice touch.
Evenly layered with alternating layers of sponge, a denser component which reminded of sakura’ an made from pickled cherry blossoms and shiro’an, as well as buttercream.Proportions wise, there’s nothing to fault, though the aesthetics is clearly not an indication of the taste. Once again, looks can be deceiving.
This buttercream cake does make me wonder about the construction of a similar cake which I’d been wanting to make for a long time, Hidemi Sugino’s Framboisier. It made me think harder about the components, especially the construction of the buttercream and ways to avoid being cloying and sickening sweet at the same time. I think I’d gotten the components more of less sorted out. So tis just a matter of when I guess. Alas, despite
being a failure not working very well for me, the Sakura Buttercream Cake did serve a purpose after all. It reminded me of what a cake should not taste like.
So yes, try out Green Pumpkin Japanese Bakery’s Kabocha Mont Blanc if you are there. One can even try to reconstruct it at home, given the transparency and simplicity of the ingredients list and components. But I’m afraid I cannot reccommend the other three pieces I’d sampled. Then again, the opinions are entirely personal and mine alone. You might have better luck with the yuzu cheesecake and sakura buttercream cake than I did.
PS: I usually try to be amicable and not produce nasty reviews. But then again, you must be warned…