Monday, May 8, 2017

A refined German taste from Japan - Juchheim's matcha baumkuchen (Takashimaya)

Although I have passed by Juchheim many times to date, I have never had the urge to buy their baumkuchen for some reason. Perhaps it was that I always had the impression that baumkuchens are expensive due to the effort and skill needed to produce them or that Japanese brands tend to have this pricey image. However, when I saw the limited edition matcha version publicised on Juchheim's Facebook page, that was the best excuse to try their baumkuchen.

Baumkuchen which means tree cake in German (Der Konig der Kuchen), is regarded as the King of German cakes and also the symbol of the German Confectionery Association. In Germany, confectioners can only earn the title of Meister after mastering how to make this cake. Karl Juchheim, the founder of Juccheim, was the first to bake the baumkuchen in Japan back in 1919.

Much as I am very into anything matcha, I still felt apprehensive about buying a whole baumkuchen on my first attempt especially since it does not have any preservatives and can only last for three days. Coupled with the fact that there were no samples for this flavour, I pondered over this a lot at the counter which I suppose must have made the staff there wonder if I had no intention of buying anything. To make things even more complicated, seeing another limited edition version i.e. dark chocolate swayed my will as I deliberated between matcha and this flavour. In the end, I finally bit the bullet and went ahead with my initial choice. Luckily, the baumkuchen turned out to be better than I expected.

I was expecting a somewhat drier texture and sweeter taste from the matcha flavour based on the impression I got from the lemon version's sample. However, the matcha flavour turned out to have the right amount of moisture and the texture was smooth enough to eat it on its own. If paired with tea, I think it will be a great teatime snack or after-meal dessert. Although the staff did mention that the outermost layer may be a bit sweet, I thought that it was still acceptable for me. Price-wise, the matcha flavour is slightly more expensive than the original flavour but for this quality and size, it's a worthwhile deal after all.

Now that the matcha baumkuchen has won my heart, I guess it's time to get the dark chocolate version soon before it gets taken off the shelf.

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