My older brother moved to Paris over a year ago (for work). We get along really well, & when he comes to London to visit us, he sure knows what to get for me.
= He buys two (or sometimes three) big cake boxes filled with pastries from Sadaharu Aoki, the famous Japanese Patissier basing himself in “the cake kingdom” Paris. His cakes are delectable, & oh! I soo love that he’s a Japanese creating French pastry in France endearing Le Tout Paris! ;-) He’s up there on ‘My Pastry God Pedestal’ along with Pierre Herme, Christine Ferber, Jean-Paul Hevin…
I’m quite proud to say, I have now conquered ALL of Aoki’s pastries, despite living in a different country, thanks to my brother & eurostar.
So what is my favourite out of all of his fantabulous creations? Well mine has to be the Matcha (green tea) Roll Cake with Sweet Azuki Beans. Aoki’s has very subtly sweet whipped double cream, accented by a dose of sweet stewed azuki beans. Hmm… I can eat three of those atleast…
Let me explain my choice. Yes, it’s what the British would call Swiss roll or a Roulade, & the Americans would call Jelly roll. But the Japanese call it ‘Roll Cake’ & I think it’s not just the name that’s different, in my opinion, the taste, the shape, it’s presentation is definately dissimilar too. And, again, in my opinion, the Japanese ones are ALWAYS THE BEST. It is perfectly circular, & s.o.f.t. like heaven. The mere mention of ‘roll cake’ takes me back to my childhood days in Japan when roll cake was always my fave cake of choice. It was the time when I loved everything soft, the time when I used to get told off for tearing out ‘just’ the middle of the fresh slice of bread…
There are several reasons for my brother’s visit to London this time – Firstly, it was the Japanese national holiday week called ‘renkyu’. Secondly, my parents have now exchanged contract on the sale of our family home & my brother needs to clear out his room.
And thirdly, Monday 30th April was my 31st birthday. A friend of ours called Martyn came down from Newcastle to spend his time with us too. We went to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park where we had the most mellow day out – the weather was beautiful & the zoo was on the emptier side since it was a Monday, & we felt a bit like Michael Jackson hiring out the place! It’s so cool that everytime Martyn stays over, we all have the most amazing time together.
The day was finished off with a meal at our fave chinese. It’s a very special place for our family, where we would go to for birthday celebrations, when a family member lost his job, when he then found a new job, & it was also the place where we dined the night before the birth of our son.