When we heard about a special dessert called the suika baumkuchen being offered through online retailer Rakuten, we were pretty psyched, since it combines two of the greatest things on the planet: watermelon and cake. As a matter of fact, we were so excited that at first we thought it was only going to be available for one hour on August 1.
But as we spent hours drooling over the watermelon cake’s webpage, which had us so captivated we barely had time to use the Internet to look at pictures of cats and swimsuit models, we noticed something: the suika baumkuchen is actually available right now! We put in our order right away, and now we’re here to bring you our report on this incredible culinary crossover.
First, let’s break down the linguistics. Suika baumkuchen’s half-Japanese, half-German name translates as “watermelon tree cake,” because while it’s technically made in the style of a ring-shaped baumkuchen cake, it looks like a watermelon.
The inventive dessert is made by bakery La Soreiyu in Chiba Prefecture, and is being sold by the Okashi no Taiyou confectionary shop through Rakuten’s Japanese site. From 11 to 11:59 in the morning on August 1, it’ll be sold at a discounted price of 1,980 yen (US$16), but as long as you’re willing to pony up a little more, 2,268 yen will get you a watermelon cake right now.
After placing our order, we took up positions around the front door of the RocketNews24 office, standing at attention as we waited for the deliveryman. When he finally came a few days later, we were surprised that the cake came frozen and sealed in a cold pack.
We stuck it in the fridge to thaw, but two hours was as long as we could hold out before we decided it was time to dig in, whether or not all there were still any ice crystals on it.
Thankfully, by that point the cake had thawed enough that we could easily cut it. While most baumkuchen are a pale yellow in color, the outer layer of the suika baumkuchen is green, and as we sliced into it, the blade of our knife came away tinted with red, as though we were cutting into a real watermelon.
Instead of fruit, though, the inside is filled with a scarlet mousse. Unable to resist, we grabbed a slice of cake with our bare hands and bit in, and were pleasantly surprised to find that even the texture was similar to watermelon, since the mousse was still slushy and moist, which also explains why the cake ships frozen.
Even better, the mouse actually tastes like watermelon, since it’s made with watermelon juice. And while you may have pleasant summer memories of sitting on the back porch and spitting watermelon seeds, you’ll want to eat the ones in the suika baumkuchen, since they’re actually chocolate chips.
▼ Unfortunately, swallowing one won’t cause a chocolate factory to grow in your stomach.
There’s more fruit flavor to be found in the green portion of the cake itself, which tastes like melon. It’s not just the refreshing taste that makes the watermelon cake an appealing summertime treat, either, but the fact that it’s made with rice flour, which some of our staff felt results in a lighter cake than ordinary baumkuchen.
So in the end, watermelon makes the jump to cake amazingly well. If you want to get in on the suika baumkuchen fun, you can place your order here. Just don’t get confused and use it for suikawari at the beach.
Photos © RocketNews24
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