cake

Newlywed couple’s hearts beat to Beatmania with music game-themed wedding cake

A lot of times, the simulated situations of a video game are a lot more enjoyable than they would be in real life. For example, a Street Fighter or King of Fighters session is a pretty fun way to kill an hour, but it’d be considerably less entertaining to, in reality, spend 60 minutes brawling with a string of 10 or 20 dudes, one after another.

But what about music and rhythm games? Sure, dropping a few hundred yen into Konami’s DJ simulator Beatmania is cheaper than cover charge at a club, and arcade staff members are much less likely to give you an attitude than a front door bouncer, but the digital version doesn’t give you the same chance to form a connection with potential romantic partners, does it?

Actually, sometimes it does, as seen in this newlywed couple’s Beatmania wedding cake.

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A truly sweet affair — high fashion meets high dessert at the Tokyo Sweets Collection!

We’d like to think that all things sweet and beautiful have a certain universal appeal, regardless of country and culture. Japan is no exception, and the Japanese public certainly loves sweets in all shapes and sizes, so much so that the word pâtissier, French for “pastry chef,” has become an established part of the Japanese language. From that viewpoint, an event that brings delectable desserts, beautiful fashion and entertainment all together in one package is something of a dream experience, at least for this writer. And just recently, we were fortunate enough to attend exactly such an event — the Tokyo Sweets Collection 2014!

Join us as we take you along on a sweet journey through this unique show in which six renowned pastry chefs serve up heavenly plates of desserts in a fantastical setting complete with lights, music, dancing and models in beautiful clothes, all designed to tantalize not just your taste buds but all of your senses!

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Japanese couple celebrates wedding with cake shaped like a sliced-up, possibly bloody tuna

When it came time for my wife and me to put together a menu for our wedding reception, I tried to sound out her opinions before jumping in with my own. That is, until we got to the cake selections, and I immediately blurted out, “Let’s get the triple chocolate one!”

Thankfully, by that point she’d already made her peace with my many flaws which extend far beyond my cake preferences, and she smiled and acquiesced to the non-traditional, pitch-black (and completely delicious) choice.

Somehow, though, I don’t think things would have gone so smoothly if I’d done like the recently married man in Japan who suggested serving a wedding cake shaped like a sliced up, possibly bleeding tuna.

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This rice omelet, grilled eel, oden, and fried pork are actually cakes! We try them all

We previously ran an article about Maplies, a bakery in Shinjuku that excels in the art of making cake look exactly like Chinese food, namely gyoza, ramen (salt or soy sauce), and tenshindon.

About a year has past since then and our reporter Mr. Sato had a sudden hankering for some cake that looked like egg, crab meat, and rice. He headed down to Maplies only to be shocked at what he found. The bakery had added a whole new assortment of cakes that look exactly like other foods!

Needless to say he bought one of each and brought them back to the office for a taste of pure confusion.

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Disney magic strikes again — Get ready for some serious Frozen sweetness!!

It’s been over seven months since Disney’s Frozen was released here, but love for the hit animated film still seems to be going strong in Japan. Walk into a bookstore around here, and you’re more than likely to find several different Frozen picture or music books, and you can bet that many kids in Japan will be dressing up as Elsa and Anna for Halloween this Friday. Well, it seems the world of pastries here is no exception. Major Japanese confection maker Cozy Corner has announced that they will soon be coming out with lovely offerings inspired by the movie, and yes, we’re thrilled, because these are exactly the kind of goodies we love — delightful to look at and delectably sweet to taste!

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Disney villains have never been sweeter — they’re now beautiful mini-cakes!

What’s evil yet sweet and a delight to pop into your mouth? Well the newest tempting items from Japanese confectioner Cozy Corner’s Disney cake collection certainly fit the description. Yes, for Halloween this year, some of Disney’s notable villains have transformed themselves into gorgeous mini-cakes, and by the looks of things, we have to say Disney magic probably doesn’t get much sweeter than this!

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Create your very own edible Hello Kitty this Christmas with this “Face Cake” set!

Christmas cakes (yes, it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays) come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not surprising at all to see our favorite feline character and international celebrity Hello Kitty turn herself into one. But this “Hello Kitty Face Cake” requires just a little bit more artistic creativity from you than the average cake. You see, the cake doesn’t come looking like the picture above — you actually have to make it into its Hello Kitty form!

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Häagen-Dazs creates winter wonderland that’s both gorgeous to look at and sweet to taste!

It seems only a short while ago that we were battling the unrelenting summer heat here in Tokyo, but now that autumn is on its way, apparently it’s already time to start hearing news about Christmas — heavens, it’s hard to keep up with the passing of the seasons!

Well, for those of you who like to start thinking early about the Holiday Season, one of the reporters from our sister site Pouch has a very special Christmas cake to introduce to you. It’s an absolutely gorgeous creation by gourmet ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs — which is more than enough to catch our attention and make our mouths water. And even though they’ll only be available in one shop in France, the cakes look so exquisite that we just had to share the pictures with you!

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Unagi pastries contain no eel, tons of cuteness

Even though I was an extremely finicky eater growing up, my palate has broadened quite a bit since moving to Japan. In the years I’ve spent living in Tokyo and Yokohama, I’ve become convinced that cooking a cut of tuna is the quickest way to ruin its flavor, spicy cod roe makes an excellent pasta sauce, and that chicken cartilage isn’t just something you can eat, but should.

Still, I’m not entirely sold on unagi, or freshwater eel. Honestly, the flavor is surprisingly mild and not unpleasant, but I still have a hard time getting past the mental image of the snake-like appearance for something that, in my opinion, tastes just OK and is a little on the expensive side.

On the other hand, unagi-shaped chocolate pastries make a much more compelling argument.

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National Tanuki Cake Habitat Map aims at conserving the once-beloved but now endangered dessert

Tanuki, also known as Japanese raccoon dogs, hold a special place in Japanese culture. Often the center of folktales for their large testicles, magical abilities, and easygoing attitude, you can see them depicted in works of art all over the country.

However, now the tanuki is threatened. Not the actual animal, but a cake created in its image known as the tanuki cake. For many middle-aged Japanese people the mention of such a treat would awaken fond childhood memories. Despite this, the tanuki cake population in Japan has plummeted in recent years to the point of being critically endangered.

That’s why the website Tanuki Cake No Aru Toko Meguri has established the National Tanuki Cake Habitat Map, so that we may monitor and perhaps conserve these noble animal-shaped cakes.

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Desserts in Wonderland – Our lesson in decorating storybook sweets

The relatively small size of Japanese kitchens, and ovens for that matter, mean the average person doesn’t get many opportunities to bake desserts. Sure, once a year a lot of women will whip up a batch of chocolate or some other sweets, but February 15 is usually the beginning of a 364-day streak of no homemade goodies.

Looking to break this cycle was our Japanese-language correspondent Momo. But how would someone who charred all of her attempts at Valentine’s Day sweets to a crisp as a schoolgirl, fare at her Alice in Wonderland cookie and cake decorating class?

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Adorable panda cakes back to steal our hearts with a lovely combination of cream and chocolate!

Sure, we’re crazy about cats and otters and penguins here at RocketNews24, but we’ve got to admit, pandas are pretty darn cute too, whatever form they come in (even when they’re not actual pandas but an entirely different animal in disguise) . This time, the pandas come in an edible form that’s sweet to both look at and eat. They’re the “Fluffy Panda Rolls” (Funwari Panda Roll), and like the countless other panda products out there, they’re utterly adorable!

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Disney cakes are adorable, artistic, and only available for a limited time

With the string of holidays known as Golden Week coming up in early May, all of Japan is looking forward to a couple of days off to spend with friends and family. Whether you’re visiting a friend’s apartment or going back to your hometown for a couple of days, Japanese manners dictate that you should bring a gift, with food being the most popular choice.

If you’re stumped for what kind of food to bring, here’s an easy way to play the percentages. Almost everyone likes cake, and almost everyone in Japan likes Disney characters, so odds are this set of Disney cakes will make just about everyone happy.

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【TBT】Doing it wrong: 20 laughably bad Chinese character cakes

The aesthetic quality of a character cake can be judged by the degree of reluctance felt before cutting into it. Some cakes are so well-crafted that taking a knife to them would be nothing other than desecration of art. Conversely, some cakes are so insultingly terrible that basic survival instincts would compel most people to take knife in hand and stab them out of their misery.

A series of images recently shared on Chinese Facebook ripoff social networking site Renren suggests character cakes in China fall into the latter camp.

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Just when you thought fried panda cakes couldn’t get any cuter: Strawberry milk fried panda cakes

What could be cuter than a fluffy, rolly-polly panda? A panda full of gooey strawberry-milk flavored cream of course. That’s just what Ginza Cozy Corner is cooking up at their L’Ueno shop this month.

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The Potato Salad Christmas Tree and other strange Christmas traditions in Japan

According to many people, Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas the “right” way. We’re not sure what that means exactly, but even Japanese folks seem to agree that a Christmas in the Land of the Rising Sun isn’t quite what you might expect to find in most other countries. And there’s nothing wrong with that, of course! Who can complain about adding a new spin on some old fun, right?

But just how strange is a Japanese Christmas? Well, it’s no little green men from Mars, but we have four words for you: Potato Salad Christmas Tree.

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We cook a Christmas cake in a rice cooker to ring in the holidays

When discussing Christmas in Japan it would be remiss not to mention the traditional cake that families and individuals buy during this time of the year. RocketNews24 also purchased a cute Santa cake to please our collective sweet teeth and warm our bellies in the cold winter.

However, it wouldn’t be a RocketNews24 Christmas with cooking that bad boy up in a rice cooker. Heck, if Big Macs or Oreos work, then rice-cooker-cooked Christmas cake should be a grand slam. Unsurprisingly (for us at least) the results were both festively pretty and delicious!

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New banana shake-flavored Tokyo Banana cakes come out — in bright prints!

Visitors to Tokyo may be aware of a popular local sweet called Tokyo Banana sold here in the city. They’re cute, yellow, banana-shaped sponge cakes with banana custard cream filling inside. And yes, they’re as good as the description sounds, which is why the cakes are a well-loved treat in Japan, and seemingly in other  parts of the world as well, as I’ve actually heard people from Singapore and Malaysia mention that they’re fans of the cake.

One of the reporters at our sister site Pouch is also apparently a big fan, so when a new version of Tokyo Banana came out this month, she naturally had to get her hands on some! And what’s so special about the new Tokyo Banana cakes? Well, to start with, they’re only sold at one location — Tokyo Station to be exact — and not only do they come in a different flavor from the regular cakes, they come in beautiful, colorful prints!

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The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.

One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.

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From Slime to Hello Kitty: Themed pastries and desserts too gorgeous to eat

The best part of any meal is dessert. In fact, there are some days that we just skip the rest of the meal and go right for the cake! And there’s nothing better than a delicious pastry…except maybe delicious pastries in the forms of our favorite characters!

Are you ready for Totoro cakes, Alice In Wonderland cupcakes, and kitty lattes? If so, click below for the best photos of themed pastries as selected by Japanese Twitter users. They’re sure to set your mouth watering and your stomach rumbling!

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