My cake obsession hasn’t been sated even after coming back to Hong Kong!! So here goes. For some reason, everywhere I went today, they were out of cakes I wanted…Lucullus, Cova, even Pappagallo (!!). So I ended up at Starbucks. Since I’ve already tried their lychee mousse and red velvet cake, I took their 3rd new offering – the Earl Grey Mousse Cake, and an old favourite, the Hazelnut Coffee Roll.
Only when I got home did I realize I JUST had an Earl Grey cake yesterday (full review to come later)…which would make for good comparison. 2 different calibers of cake shops, obviously…but how did they fare?
The Starbucks one is covered with a sweet gelée which tasted like…..sugar. And it was more jelly than gelée. Well, I suppose that increases shelf-life and makes it more sturdy, which makes sense as Starbucks is not gourmet. Inside, there were 5 different components. First, the main component was a light brown Earl Grey mousse. It actually tasted like a very sweet and mild HK milk tea, which is what Earl Grey tastes to me sometimes :S So I guess they succeeded….? lol. I enjoy my Earl Grey without milk/sugar usually. The texture was a bit gelatinous too.
Next was a sponge cake layer, which had hints of citrus. Since Earl Grey is infused with bergamot, this makes sense. I actually quite liked this layer…it’s moist and fragrant. Following another mousse layer was a crunchy feuilleté-like layer, which serves to provide textural difference. It was actually really sweet as well, like nutella. Then, another thin layer of mousse, and then chocolate sponge cake (without the citrus tang). Finally, the base is a tender hazelnut biscuit, which was moist, a bit too moist in fact.
For the price of the cake ($2x), it was thoroughly enjoyable. Obviously, one can’t compare it to the delicate One Two Tea I had yesterday, but that was almost double the price. The Starbucks one, owing to its sturdier textures, was more filling too….I always think Starbucks is a good bargain! I actually also liked how it was super sweet….good for when the sugar craving hits. Can see this not faring well with the Asian palate though.
The hazelnut coffee roll was very strong on the coffee taste and totally lacking in the hazelnut taste. The roll layer is pale white, which means it was probably made just with egg-whites (and less guilty). The filling is a hazelnut buttercream mixed heavily with coffee granules. I didn’t detect any hazelnut, and the coffee taste was overwhelming. Oddly, the cake was also specked with what appeared to be chocolate chips, but tasted like nothing. If you really want a coffee hit from your cake, this is your cake. However, if you expected some hazelnut tones…prepare to be disappointed.