The Sailor Moon manga began serialization in 1991, and the anime debuted soon after in 1992, so it’s safe to say many people have grown up following the adventures of the Sailor Senshi. If you’re getting ready to celebrate having completed another year of your life as a fan of the perennially popular magical girl franchise, why not do it with these soon-to-be-released Sailor Moon birthday cakes, topped with chocolate versions of the series’ characters?
Is it just me, or are cakes these days starting to look less and less… cakey? With all sorts of techniques, tools, and ingredients at their fingertips, it seems like bakers can now turn cake into pretty much anything, as we’ve seen before from this cake shop in Shinjuku, that sells cakes disguised as Chinese food (you can even learn to make a bowl-of-ramen cake yourself here).
Now, that same shop, called Maplies, has come out with yet another tricky treat that looks exactly like maguro-don, a rice bowl with slices of tuna sashimi on top!
If you were fighting the temptation to dig into confectioner Cozy Corner’s selection of cakes inspired by the leading ladies of the Disney animated canon, congratulations. Your struggle is over, since as of March 4, they’re no longer available.
If, on the other hand, you were hoping to try the stylish sweets for yourself but just couldn’t find the time, you have our sincere sympathies. Don’t feel too bad, though, because no sooner has one set of Cozy Corner Disney desserts bowed out than another has appeared on the scene, this time featuring the studio’s beloved characters cosplaying as Easter bunnies.
Former pastry chef and current dessert blogger Katharina McCawley knows a thing or two about scrumptious treats that are as tasty to look at as they are to eat. She runs the blog Pretty Cake Machine, where she provides detailed recipes and directions for assembling all of her concoctions. Her most recent project? Single-serving cakes inspired by the Sailor Guardians:
Over the years, we’ve already seen some lovely creations by Japanese confection maker Ginza Cozy Corner with Disney themes, including sumptuous mini-cakes inspired by Disney villains and characters from the mega-hit film Frozen. This time, to celebrate the “Girl’s Day” festival called Hina Matsuri coming up in Japan next month on March 3, the folks at Cozy Corner have once again come up with some sweet magic, this time in the form of small cakes symbolizing some of Disney’s best known gals. It’s the “Petit Gateau Disney Girl’s Collection” featuring nine of Disney’s female stars, from Minnie Mouse to Elsa, transformed into bite-sized treats that should be both sweet to taste and a delight to look at!
Before you start obsessing over Valentine’s Day plans, let’s turn for a moment to another February whoop-de-do: the Japanese Bean-Throwing Festival or Setsubun. Celebrated on February 3 this year, it’s an intriguing blend of evil ogres and spirits, roasted soybeans, and chomping on a whole baton of thickly rolled sushi while facing in the proper direction. These somewhat disparate ingredients commingle on this day to assure good fortune and health for the year to come.
In recent years, western Japan’s custom of eating a special type of sushi called ehō-maki (恵方巻き, literally “blessed direction roll”) for Setsubun has spread across the nation due to marketing campaigns by grocery and convenience stores; what’s more, the sushi rolls have been evolving into scrumptious cream-filled Swiss rolls! Iconoclastic? Maybe. Delicious? Yes!
So let’s jump on the bandwagon and look into this holiday a bit before drooling over this collection of sushi and their sweet doppelgängers. And Yowapeda fans, I think I spy a Makishima-maki!
Sometimes, less is more. For example, earlier this year we heard the happy news that Denny’s in Japan was offering all-you-can-eat pancakes. But as enticing as that deal was, there’s an easy way to improve on an unlimited supply of pancakes, and that’s by losing that “pan” restrictor.
So when we heard a popular Japanese bakery has an all-you-can-eat cake deal, we were ecstatic, and then we were out the door to try it for ourselves.
With all of the secular Christmas decoration displays at shopping centers, and Japan’s focus on finding a date at this time of year, it’s all too easy to forget the real reason for the holiday on December 25. Really, the central figure in our minds shouldn’t be Santa, nor the cute girl or hot guy you just went on a Christmas Eve date with.
Christmas is a day when we should all stop for a moment to remember that the holiday is an observation of the birth of an amazing individual. Someone who, at times when our souls are tested, has always been there to show us the way, through his combination of wisdom, courage, and ability to effortlessly slice a 30-meter giant to death.
In other words, happy birthday, Attack on Titan’s Levi!
I like Christmas. I get that some people feel it’s over-commercialized, but for me, I’m happy to see some nice decorations and have an excuse to get together with family and friends. Really, the only complaint I’ve got is the cake.
See, in Japan, you can’t celebrate Christmas without a cake. Ordinarily, adding cake to just about anything makes it better, with “a mug of beer” being the sole exception I’ve found so far. But almost every Christmas party here features the exact same “Christmas cake.” It’s basically a strawberry shortcake, which, by my criteria, is sorely lacking in the three most important ingredients of a really good cake, which are, in no particular order, chocolate frosting, chocolate sponge, and chocolate filling.
So if you’ve also got a beef with the standard Christmas cake, maybe you’d prefer one that’s made out of chicken.
In the four months since we got our first taste of baked Kit Kats, we’ve been enjoying as many of them as we can. Still, sometimes our sweet teeth are at odds with our lazier tendencies, and we can’t be bothered to cook the things ourselves. Plus. Lately we’ve started feeling a little guilty for neglecting all the other desserts we love.
So we were happy to find out that Nestle Japan is currently recruiting restaurants to combine baked Kit Kats with cakes, parfaits, and crepes, and the results are already hitting plates and bowls across Japan.
It’s par for the course that an animated Disney film will include a loveable sidekick providing lighter moments throughout the narrative. But it’s not often that these secondary characters can be replicated so well in edible form. Olaf from Disney’s Frozen though, is an absolute treat for cooks who want to add some cute flair to their meals and sweets. His round, white snowman figure is easily created from rice, potatoes, Japanese radish and even sweet icing. Take a look at some of these gorgeous incarnations of Olaf in the food world.
With the live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service set to hit cinemas in Japan on March 1, it’s time for the celebrations and tie-in promotions to commence! Japanese bakery chain, Little Mermaid, is one of the first to step up to the plate, paying homage to the movie with this collection of delightfully cute offerings. Available only for a limited time, the three new baked varieties are named in honour of Kiki, her black cat Jiji, and Ms Osono, Kiki’s mother-figure and resident baker. Can you guess which design is which?
Kids’ hopes and dreams for the future can change from one minute to the next and very often depend on the TV shows they watch and whatever their friends are talking about on any given week. But a recent survey conducted by human resource consulting company Adecco has revealed some interesting information about the future aspirations of children from Japan compared to those of kids from other eight other Asian countries.