Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tokyo Banana: Banana Caramel Custard Cream

Other than the Baked Cheesecake Kit Kat that Dad brought from Osaka, he also brought home a box of Tokyo Banana. But, it's a different kind of Tokyo Banana this time. Dad usually bought Tokyo Banana Miitsuketa, the original ones where the sponge cakes are in plain beige color and are filled with banana custard inside, but this time he bought the caramel flavored Tokyo Banana. God bless Daddy!

The sponge cakes came inside a rather large box, wrapped in a very lovely white wrapping paper with pink colored giraffe patterns. On the wrapping paper itself is printed a picture of the Tokyo Banana, looking all adorable with its' giraffe pattern and big pink ribbon. I have to say, whoever design this adorable packaging deserves a raise because he, or she, did a great job in selling the product with this whole kawaii-ness! 

Each box are filled with 12 pieces of little sponge cakes - and by "little", I meant not that kind of small inhuman-mini-sized munchies that would disappoint you by just looking at it, but an average palm-sized kind of little. You will find some more giraffe patterns on the beige colored sponge cakes, yet I still have no idea why they would relate caramel with the animal itself. Maybe it's because the share the same color? I'm not sure. 

I tore open the individual wrapping of the Tokyo Banana caramel flavor and was welcomed with a super soft and super fluffy sponge cake. It was so fluffy! I am serious! I was expecting a plain jane kind of texture, you know how cakes feel like when you touch them, right? But, instead, I got a fluffy sponge cake that reminds me of a fat puppy with soft fur when you touch it. Sure, there are other cakes out there that are way fluffier than this particular sponge cake, but to find such texture in a Japanese souvenir is something. Don't you think? 

My mouth was filled with a mix of sweet banana and caramel goodness and fluffy sponge cake the moment the cake entered my mouth. Again, the cake was very fluffy and spongy, it was not the slightest bit airy, nor dry. The caramel custard filling was light, yet thick, and it did not eclipsed the banana sponge cake with its' strong flavor. Both sponge cake and custard blend it so well into a sensation of sweet and softness that tingled my taste buds. Delightful. 

True, Tokyo Banana can be a little bit overrated sometimes, but this custard filled sponge cake really is delicious. Maybe you should try it for yourself to judge whether this Japanese snack is receiving too much love or not. For those local Indonesian citizen who would like to get a taste of Tokyo Banana caramel flavor, you can try exploring your Instagram for some online shop that sells Japanese product, they might have it on sale. For those who are planning a trip to Japan, buy yourself a dozen! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Kit Kat: Baked Cheesecake

Dad flew to Osaka a while ago and brought home a pack of Kit Kat with flavor I have never encountered before: cheesecake. But, there is something special about this particular chocolate other than the unique flavor itself. This is a bakeable Kit Kat! You can actually put the mini chocolates into an oven toaster and it will transform into a cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake! God bless Japan! 

I didn't, and still don't, understand a single word written on the packaging. There were no number that can make me speculate about how long it takes for the chocolate to transform into a cheesecake after I put it in the toaster. I didn't even know that machine I should use to bake the chocolate. There was this picture of what it seems to be a microwave on the packaging, which looks similar to Mom's mini oven toaster. Might as well give it a try, I said to myself. The worst that could happen is the chocolate will melt and end up making a hole in the toaster as it transforms into a goo of solid acid instead of cheesecake. What? 

Without any acknowledgement about anything involving the chocolate whatsoever, I unwrapped three of them and toast it with Mom's mini oven toaster. I set the timer to three minutes and prayed nothing goes wrong with them. 

I waited and waited and three minutes had never felt that long. I became anxious as the chocolate started to melt. It's never going to work, I thought. I mean, how can a white chocolate possibly turn into a cheesecake, right? 

But, then, something happened. The surface of the melted white chocolate started to burn. It gradually burnt and transformed into something like burnt meringue. It was fascinating! 

Ding! the toaster oven made a sound that signaled me that the toasting process was finished. I took out my batch of baked cheesecake Kit Kat and was welcomed with a deliciously sweet, yet cheesy and savory, aroma - just like how a baked cheesecake would smell like. 

I used a butter knife to scoop the Kit Kat from the tray. I was expecting a gooey texture like how melted chocolate should feel like, but I was stand corrected. The melted chocolate that transformed into a baked cheesecake had a solid texture like the shell of a macaroon. It cracked as I slipped the butter knife underneath the Kit Kats. I was lost for words. Japan truly does exceed expectation when it comes to unique munchies, isn't it?


The baked cheesecake flavored chocolate tasted like how white chocolate should taste like, with a hint of cheesecake here and there, and a slight burnt caramel after taste. It also had this citrus like flavor like that cream in every Khong Guan biscuits (Indonesian can relate). The texture was like macaroon without the ganache, it cracked within every bite. True, it tasted a bit weird, but in a good way. A definite must try for those of you who fancy peculiar snacks like these! 

Most Adorable Birthday Present Ever!

On my last birthday, my two best friends got me the most adorable birthday present ever! They got me this popcorn machine like the ones that you can find at circus, except this one is the mini version. Just look at it! Isn't it adorable?

It is red in color, with a hint of dark gold on the sides. The machine is very compact and light, nonetheless portable and very handy, very suitable for slumber parties. And it is easy to operate as well - all you have to do is plug it in, turn it on, pour some popcorn into it, and let magic do the rest of the work. In less than five minutes, you will have your batch of popcorn ready to indulge. 

Unfortunately, the machine can get a little bit out of control when it pops out the fresh popcorns. Most of the popcorns flew everywhere, leaving mess on the floor and inside the machine as well. There was a bit of corn flakes here and there, as well as leftover white puffs and crumbs. As a lazy bum, it's a bit of a challenge to clean the machine afterwards.

I know my last birthday was on November last year and, boy, has it been a such long months. This is a very late post, but better late than never, right? 

Kue Ape

This particular street food is famous for its' physical appearance that resembles a woman's breast. Its' basic ingredients consists of flour and milk, with an addition of sugar to make it taste sweet. Natural food coloring, such as pandan leaf, is also used to give a hint of green in this munchie.

I live my life without the absence of the street food, as I usually spend Rp10.000,00 to get me five of this babies every Sunday after church when I feel like it. Surely, Indonesian citizen are already familiar with this particular snack. But, for those who aren't, allow me introduce you to the famous Kue Ape.

Kue Ape vendor near my church

A set of Kue Ape molder

As I have said before, Kue Ape is famous for its' physical appearance that resembles a woman's breasts. Half of the population in Jakarta are more familiar with the term Kue Tetek, instead of Kue Ape, as tetek is a slang in Indonesian for breasts.

How does it resembles a woman's breast, you asked. Well, the food itself is basically a super super thin pancake molded in a tiny pan - it is round in shape, with super thin crust on the sides and chewy cooked batter in the middle. Now, the chewy part in the middle of the Kue Ape peaked as the batter cooks, making it looks like a tense nipple, hence the origin of the name for this famous Jakartans street food. 

Look at that thin crust!

Kue Ape doesn't vary much in color, as they only come in two kinds, white and green. I have always think that the vendor used a generous amount of pandan leaf to make the green Kue Ape batter. But, there is also a chance that he is using an artificial food coloring to color the batter to save time and energy. Who knows? As for the white Kue Ape batter,  I assume the vendor didn't add any coloring into the mixture. 

My favorite part of Kue Ape is, obviously, the thin crust! I'm not a big fan of the "nipple" simply because is not as fun and crispy as the crust. In terms of flavor and taste, both crust and middle part are as sweet and as floury. Sometimes, the sugary goodness gradually develops into a bitter after taste, as if the vendor is using a low quality sugar. But, all in all, it is still fun to munch on this babies! 

Pandan flavored Kue Ape

Does it looks like yours?