A unique treat that combines traditional sakura mochi with western cake is set to seriously tempt your taste buds this spring!
The hybrid sweet, which ingeniously mixes elements of western cake with Japanese sakura mochi, not only looks delicately beautiful, it’s a creation by talented pastry chef Hideki Kubota, who has won a gold medal in the Culinary Olympics (International Exhibition of Culinary Art), so you can expect it to taste amazing as well.
So how is the cake a Western-Japanese hybrid sweet? Typical sakura mochi, which is a popular sweet in the springtime because of its association with the sakura (cherry) flowers, consists of pink mochi rice cake containing sweet red bean paste in the center, wrapped in a pickled sakura leaf on the outside.
▼ Traditional sakura mochi
In comparison, the new cake by Kubota, available at the Senri Hankyu Hotel and the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Osaka, has a soft sponge cake base and a strawberry gelée center surrounded with sakura leaf flavored red bean mousse, all wrapped in a delicate sheet of gyuhi, which is basically a soft form of mochi made from glutinous rice flour with sugar or Japanese water candy. To complete the picture, the cake is topped with a dainty miniature sakura mochi made of gelatin.
▼ See the beautiful layers inside the cake! The slightly salty sakura leaf flavor added to the mousse should provide a refreshing contrast to the other sweet ingredients.
As the number of foreign tourists to Japan increases, and with the two hotels offering the cakes receiving over twice as many foreign guests during the period of April to December of 2015 as in the year before, they apparently wanted to come up with a sweet that would convey a feeling of Japanese spring but at the same time contain some elements familiar to the Western palate. Well, whatever they did, it’s gorgeous and looks seriously tasty, that’s for sure!
The sakura mochi cake with a Western twist is available at the Cake Shop of the Senri Hankyu Hotel and the Garden Lounge Fonte of the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park for 430 yen (US$4) a piece until April 30. If you’re going to be in the Osaka area for some spring sightseeing and flower viewing, this could be the perfect treat to have while taking a rest from all the walking and shopping!