Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wheat Baumkuchen

Wheat Baumkuchen, a casual cafe that sells freshly baked Baumkuchen, is one of the latest addition to Toa Payoh central. At first sight, Wheat Baumkuchen resembles donut factory due to the way which the baumkuchens are presented.

Wheat Baumkuchen Shop

This is an invited tasting and we were honoured to be hosted by the boss of Wheat Baumkuchen, Edwin. Edwin explained that he chose "The King of Cakes" to be the theme of his cafe for the long history this cake has. Originated in Germany, Baumkuchen has gained a faithful following in Japan over a period of more than 50 years. Moreover, this labour-centric specialty with more than 200 years of history requires dedication and skills to perfect and hence, are not easily threatened by copycats. In other words, it is more than just a slice of cake.

Wheat Baumkuchen Display

When Wheat Baumkuchen first started out, they worked closely with chefs from Germany and Japan but realised that the original recipe was too sweet for the locals. After several rounds of adjustments, they managed to win the hearts of both the locals and Japanese. Apart from taste, Edwin specifically highlighted that each layer of batter is consistently 2mm.

The cafe provides dine-in area to allow the customers to enjoy the baumkuchens, served with Illy coffee and Gryphon Tea. The cafe adopts a very clean outlook using white as the main theme. Staff can be seen working behind the scenes, cutting the baumkuchens and decorating them with different permutations of the regular toppings (e.g. chocolate, fruits, nuts and buttercream).

Chefs making Baumkuchen

At the other side of the cafe, rolls of baumkuchens can be seen rotating and apparently this is done to cool the cake proper. According to Edwin, this is crucial to maintain the circular shape of the baumkuchens. The constant rotation ensures that the cake will not collapse. Also, the displays are kept at 18°C to ensure that the cakes are not hard (as a result of chilling).

Wheat field

The interior of the cafe is made in such a way to mimic a train carriage traveling in Hokkaido and apparently, wheat fields are a common sight. Edwin do have plans to replace these static wheat fields with LED panels to make it more animated.

Fen @ Wheat

Prior to the invite, we have actually visited Wheat Baumkuchen and have tried the Valrhona Chocolate ($4.70) and Plain Green Tea ($3.80). Among the 2, we thought that the Plain Green Tea was more outstanding. On the other hand, we thought that the layers weren't as define as the one Yuan's mum has bought from Japan. It also lack the layer of sugar glaze.

***

1 month later, a second opinion? I guessed there is.

With Christmas just 3 weeks away, one will be overwhelmed by the selections available for the month of Decemeber, be it whole cakes, log cakes or individual sliced.

Log cakes would not have been more real than one that is made of baumkuchen for its layers give the cake tree rings appearance. With 4 diffferent flavours and designs, here they are...

Green tea baumkuchen with chestnut paste
Green tea baumkuchen with chestnut paste ($58)

Chocolate baumkuchen with chocolate cream
Chocolate baumkuchen with chocolate cream ($58)

Classic baumkuchen with white chocolate & coconut flakes
Classic baumkuchen with white chocolate & coconut flakes ($48)

Coffee baumkuchen with dark chocolate & raspberries
Coffee baumkuchen with dark chocolate & raspberries ($58)

Apart from log cakes, there is also a special flavour for this festive period,
Classic baumkuchen with durian filling & covered with meringue
Classic baumkuchen with durian filling & covered with meringue ($78)

And for those who prefers plain baumkuchen with some decoration, these fondant cakes will bound to catch your attention.

Given the weight of fondant, most cake bases are the regular fruit or pound cake. Baumkuchen, itself being a heavy cake is an alternative for such creations.

Xmas Display
Starting from front to back,
"Loving & harmony" where Santa hugging reindeer ($88)
"Santa got stuck!" which literally meant it that way ($88)
Classic baumkuchen covered with almond paste & fondant ($78)

Having introduced all the Christmas creations, here are our opinions towards the baumkuchens we have tried,

Chestnut on Green Tea baumkuchen
Chestnut on Green Tea baumkuchen ($4.80)

As mentioned earlier, this is our favourite flavour when plain baumkuchen is concerned and if one is observant enough, this is the sliced version of one of the log cakes. Despite using swirls of chestnut paste as its topping, one can still feel the goodness of the green tea. Since both flavours are relatively strong and rich, we personally prefer the green tea baumkuchen on its own.

Meringue filled with Durian
Meringue filled with Durian($6.80)

Another individual portion of the Christmas special. Inspired by the durian cake from The Line Shop, the entire combination works beautifully. The sweet meringue, goes very well with the lightly sweetened baumkuchen, ending with a punch of durian. No doubt, one of our favourites.

Plain baumkuchen served with tofu
Plain baumkuchen served with tofu ($4.20)

Another highly recommended flavour (IOHO) for its refreshing, light topping, derived from a combination of tofu, soya milk and cream. On top of that, almond nougat provides the extra crunch and the snow flour dusted on top provides an omph factor.

Tiramisu Dome
Tiramisu Dome ($6.80)

A combination of a coffee baumkuchen and a chocolate shell filled with coffee flavoured mascarpone cream, is more recommended to those who prefers their cakes to have a stronger taste.

Cherry Chocolate
Cherry Chocolate ($4.50)

As the name implied, this is a blackforest variant that uses chocolate mousse, tangy cherries to compliment the chocolate-flavoured baumkuchen. Kudos to the minimal use of gelatin in the chocolate mousse and similarily to the Tiramisu Dome, this flavour would appeal to those who prefers a heavier taste.

Personally, we find the sweetness optimum in all the baumkuchens and in general, the flavours used are relatively common and easily acceptable. Having tried a couple of baumkuchens with various toppings, we thought that a cake with body would be better eaten on its own or with light toppings such as tofu. In general, some may find the cake pricey but do keep in mind, the effort required to make this cake is pretty time-consuming.

As for those who are keen on the log cakes or other Christmas selections, do note that a 3 days advance booking is required. There will be a 15% discount if the order is placed before 15 December 2010.

Many thanks to Edwin for hosting us and sharing his vision and ideas with us.

Wheat Baumkuchen
Blk 190
Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
#01-530
Singapore 310190.

Operating hours:
10am - 9pm (Mon to Sun)
Closed on public holidays
Website
Facebook page

5 comments:

stargirl said...

i'm so going to get the meringue with durian. thanks for posting!

Fen said...

Didn't know you are a fan of durian.

If you are a durian fan, have you tried the Xmas durian profiterole cake from Goodwood Park. Had it last year and it was very memorable. =)

foodaholic said...

wow...you tried all the flavours! i think i still prefer kueh lapis..the few baumkuchens ive eaten tend to be dry.

stargirl said...

haha i love durian!! thanks for the recommendation.

Fen said...

Foodaholic: Almost but they came up with new flavours. Tried the black sesame baumkuchen, I would say I like it after the green tea and plain but Yuan didn't fancy the grainy texture.

I guessed this is very different from kueh lapis and I do prefer kueh lapis more than baumkuchen. The only problem is that it is not very easy to find a good kueh lapis. So far, I like Smiling Orchid the most.

Stargirl: You are most welcome.

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