Sunday, February 7, 2010

Han`ei by DeSté

Silky white chocolate & wasabi, black sesame sponge & rich yolk custard scented with yuzu ($8.80)

DeSté, a pastry lab that specializes in handcrafted chocolates as well as bespoke confections, surprise us with this creation. Imagine having wasabi in a white chocolate cake.

Award winning pastry chef, Stefano Deuiri combines the art of traditional pastry making with new molecular techniques and brings in the concept of physic-chemistry of various ingredients into his creations. For instance, in one of the Business Times articles "Creating cakes as light as styrofoam", it was mentioned that Chef Deuiri adopts the use of modern cooking techniques to lyophilize ingredients such as fruits to give certain characteristics for his cakes.

In the case of Han`ei, Chef Deuiri uses a siphon to puff up the cake, which is then baked in a microwave. In addition, he is also able to reduce sugar levels but yet retaining its light texture by dehydrating it first. In this way, the natural colour and flavour are retained unlike the old-fashioned way of baking that modifies the taste and colour.

This cube-shaped creation is amazing if one pays attention to the different textures and flavours within a single cake. Within the smooth white chocolate cake shell, one can expect smooth yuzu-scented custard in its core and a thin layer of black sesame cake on top of the cake. When eaten together, the overall taste is refreshing but accquired in my opinion.

For those who are concerned about the wasabi, that is almost undetectable.

My overall opinion towards Han`ei is both love and hate. Not sure if this is due to the sophiscated molecular techniques are adopted while cooking baking or the unorthodox combination of ingredients. In any case, if it stirs your curiousity, trying this may give you the best answer.

In case, it is not the cake that interests you but rather the post-processing done to this picture. The instructions can be found on sitting.wishing.eating.

DeSté chocolate boutique at Mandarin Gallery
#02-26 Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
Singapore 238859
Tel : 6737 3247

Opening hours - 11am to 9.30pm daily


ice said...

I tried Charlotte, one of their best sellers but it didn't leave much of an impression. DeSté's cakes are interesting but the combined taste & textures overall didn't impress. Might have been the overdoing of molecular techniques which spoils how a good cake should taste, & deliver.

Angeline said...

DeSte do sell small cakes? I thought they only see whole cakes. I wanted to try but the price is pretty steep.

myfoodsirens said...

I see "black sesame sponge" and I'm sold. And nice application of Reiz's tutorial! =)

Fen said...

Ice: I saw your entry on Charlotte, but you didn't say much, neither was it tagged under "avoid like the plague" nor "favourites". Finally know how you felt towards it (I thought your reviews are more accurate considering you have tried "molecular cuisine" and definitely knows food more in depth than me).

Was surprised to know that Charlotte didn't impress, considering he is well-versed in traditional Italian pastry. The description of Charlotte seems to be a variant of tiramisu.

Angeline: Yea, check out their branch at Mandarin Gallery. Their whole cakes are just too expensive to order, sure glad I stick to their individual cakes.

Kaelyn: Didn't know you like black sesame sponge. Black sesame is not very distinct in Han`ei; white chocolate and yuzu custard overshadows the sponge.

foodaholic said...

at first glance, it looked like it came out of k ki's kitchen, with the finer touches. *haha* seems deste didn't wow...haven't been able to try yet. Did you try any others?

taster said...

Anything that comes out from a microwave is toxic.

Fen said...

Phoebe: Lol... Trust me, K ki is alot more addictive. Tried 3 cakes from Deste but none impressed.

Taster: I thought it is just a change in molecular structure >.<
By the way, high temperature cooking such as baking can produce acrylamide, which is a neurotoxin and carcinogen.

Wonder which is worse...

ice said...

I thought I was the only one who wasn't impressed with DeSté's cakes. hahaha fen, I hope your scientific background didn't influence your opinions about them.

Anyway guys, if you're still interested, DeSté has opened Chocolate DeStenation at 313@Somerset, a cafe where you can have their cakes in individual portions.

Back to K ki for me.

Fen said...

Actually I am always skeptical to try molecular gastronomy. Imagine applying the stuff I used at work to my food... Hmm... and the bulk of those stuff are carcinogenic, neurotoxic, poison and what-so-ever you can imagine.

I will still drop by Deste for the highly acclaimed Candle cake. But that should sum it all.

Hmm... or maybe not so soon. K ki first :D

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