Tag Archives: hazelnuts

Cake Day

25 May

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.


Good Friday

22 Apr Love the top...and the fresh tasting apples are probably what I like best about this cake

Today, none of the other externs were at the hospital except for me. I later realized it’s Good Friday and perhaps they thought it was a public holiday? Helped out in another surgery again…breast reduction. I kept on violating sterile rules in the beginning and had to changing my gown and gloves several times…I felt so stupid 😦 and the OT nurse looked so impatient with me. But then most OT nurses are grumpy. Hmph. Nonetheless, I’m learning more and more. So sad it’s almost time to go home. After watching one and helping out with one surgery, I headed out as I wanted to do more exploring. I went to Sacre-Coeur, and it was filled with people waiting for Good Friday mass. Outside, on the steps, was a guy playing guitar with tons of people watching him sing classics like Hotel California, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, etc. A little lower, a guy was putting on a puppet show. Below all that, one can see a birds’ eye view of Paris. Montmarte is a really cool place…actually, so is a lot of other places in Paris. ARGH IM GONNA MISS THIS PLACE.

Basilique Sacre-Coeur

Basilique Sacre-Coeur

They changed their wrapping paper!

They changed their wrapping paper!



Just before I got home, I was really craving chocolate, so I dropped into Boulangerie Beatrix and David again, which is downstairs and oh so convenient. I actually asked for Croquechoco, which looked like a version of the popular cake that Tony Wong makes. When I got home, I found out the salesgirl gave me a Rocher instead. Oh well, no worries, it’s still chocolate. The Rocher is basically a giant Ferrero Rocher. The whole thing is covered in real milk chocolate studded with salty nuts. For some reason, it didn’t taste like hazelnuts…it kind of tasted like peanuts. Need to double check tomorrow by going back to the boulangerie and looking at the sign.

Chocolate coating, noisette mousse, chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, feuilletine

Chocolate coating, noisette mousse, chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, croustillant

Inside, from top to bottom are the noisette mousse, a thin layer of chocolate cake, chocolate hazelnut mousse, and then a croustillant layer. I could taste a little coffee in the noisette mousse…don’t know if it’s just my imagination as it’s coffee coloured. The biscuit provided a nice textural difference and separation between the 2 mousse layers.It seems like the French people really enjoy croustillant and hazelnuts, as it’s featured heavily in many stores pastries. This was satisfying. I mean, the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is really hard to go wrong. Also, like their Paris Brest, the mousse is very light, while still satisfying due to its creaminess.

Aligot...so stretchy!

Aligot...so stretchy!

Earlier in the afternoon, after visiting Sacre-Coeur, I ended up at Champs Elysées just to have a walk. I visited a small shop called Aubrac Corner, which is a takeout store belonging to the restaurant Le Maison de L’Aubrac next door. Aubrac is a region in the South of France, and their specialty is aligot, a mashed potatoes, cheese, and butter concoction. I bought a box to have tonight. As I was too lazy to cook it on the stove, I just microwaved it, then mixed and mixed and mixed like the traditional way. It reminded me of natto, getting stickier and stretchier the more you mix. After having the mashed potatoes from Le Meurice, I’ve been spoiled; and this is a microwave version…still, it was interesting. Tasted like potatoes and cheese. The interesting thing is mostly the texture, which was super, uber, duper, stretchy and chewy. You can keep on twirling it around your fork. This is thanks to the addition of a special type of cheese called Tome cheese. Traditionally, aligot is served with wild boar sausage, but I don’t think I could finish a sausage with this rich dish. So instead, I also bought some cheese at Lafayette. As if cheese isn’t rich.

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