You might have walked past a Châteraisé pastry store and admired their little Japanese sweet treats — we know we have. The array of gleaming, artfully-arranged fruit tarts, the promise of premium Japanese ingredients and fruits, along with how dainty the sponge cakes filled with light cream look. At a recent press conference though, we were surprised to find out how affordable their cakes are.
This applies to their latest creations too — seasonal cakes made with the three best fruits of the season, straight from Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture.
For this launch, they’re highlighting the area’s most well-known produce: White Peaches, Shine Muscat, and Pione. In fact, there will be a total of 22 different cakes, to roll out from July through August, using these prized fruits.
Why are the prices surprising? For that, we need to delve into the premium ingredients that are a standard for the confectionary brand.
First off, the Yamanashi White Peach. The fruit is prized for its juiciness and sweetness, while it’s good to know that Châteraisé works with a network of contracted farms for their natural ingredients, which supply fresh fruits, additive-free eggs, and milk from grass-fed cattle. For their peaches, they’ve partnered with Furaya Farm, which ensures that the peaches are healthy and only harvested in the early morning to maintain their freshness.
As for the dessert creations, the series features everything from a Yamanashi White Peach Tart ($7.20) to a new Yamanashi White Peach Dessert Roll Cup ($7), all of which see generous slices of white peach atop the dessert so you can best taste that punchy sweetness.
I gave this Yamanashi White Peach Cake ($5.80) a try too, and let’s just spend a second to rave about the fresh cream. The secret is in the Hokkaido fresh milk, pasteurised at a low temperature to preserve its natural flavours. What’s amazing is that it’s smooth, silky, and very, very light, not even heavy-feeling like whipped cream but with that airy, whipped texture. Even people who don’t usually go for creams in their cakes would love this. Of course, that’s paired beautifully with the sweet flavour of the Yamanashi white peach, succulent and at its peak sweetness, which makes preserving that texture and flavour quite the feat. They’re also served in large chunks so you truly get a kick out of your bite. Slightly more tart strawberries round off the flavour so the creation is balanced and satisfactory.
For their grape offerings, there’s the green Shine Muscat, known for its thin soft skin, and the Pione, a dark purple seedless variety often compared to Kyoho grapes — it’s actually 18 grams bigger. These two fruits are known for their natural sweetness, so it makes sense that we’re incorporating them into desserts. Similar to the peach series, there are tarts, sponge cakes, bar cakes and parfaits.
The highlight here has to be the Yamanashi Shine Muscat and Pione Zuccotto ($11). The architecture of the cake says it all, with bubble-looking grapes arranged on its arch, and even the cake’s cross-section dotted with grapes, like culinary pop art. The cream and sponge are similar to the earlier slice — that is, unbelievably fluffy sponge — but it’s the grapes that stand out. The Shine Muscat gives a pleasing sweetness, though the Pione makes the dessert shine. It gives the most interesting burst of flavour, an extremely fragrant, even wine-like one that’s rich and complex — I never thought I’d say that for a fruit. Now, kyoho grapes can easily cost $20 for just a bunch, so at $11, and with the mix of flavours all thought out for you, this one’s a steal. The grapes are also easily twice the size and naturally sweet, compared to the seedless varieties in supermarkets.
Just some final thoughts: eat the cakes fresh instead of leaving it in the fridge for too long. Also, since these are seasonal offerings, they’ll each be available for about three weeks before they disappear off the shelves!
Châteraisé, available for self-pickup or delivery on chateraisesg.getz.co/. Preorder online now and get the special Yamanashi Fruit Seasonal Cakes on 16 July, 6pm, 1 day before the official launch date on 17 July 2020.
Yamanashi White Peach offerings, available 17 July to 8 August. Yamanashi Shine Muscat and Pione offerings, avaiilable 21 August to 30 September.