Every year during the Christmas season, various shops present limited edition Christmas items. Here are 5 delicious Christmas-only sweets available at popular Kyoto bakeries and cafes.
1. Tous Les Deux
At this shop, you can enjoy French pastries (starting around 400 JPY) made by bakers that studied in restaurants and bakeries in France and Luxembourg as well as Kyoto hotels. The cute Fraisier cake decorated with Christmas decorations is similar to Japanese strawberry shortcake. It's a traditional French pastry made with strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier sandwiched between layers of sponge cake. There are other Christmas sweets available such as a chestnut mousse called Mana and a type of cake called Opera made with layers of ganache and coffee cream.
2. PaPa Jon’s Cafe
This shop is the first shop in Kyoto to offer New York cheesecake, made by the owner who grew up in New York and inherited their mother's recipe. It's been loved for a long time because you can enjoy the authentic flavor. Each cake is made by hand (starting at 550 JPY (excl. tax)). There are more than 30 varieties available, though the types offered change daily. In the Christmas season, they offer a lineup including eggnog cheesecake (3,200 JPY (excl. tax)). It has a flavor aimed towards adults thanks to the skilled use of rum and brandy in the mix.
3. grains de vanille
Grains de vanille is a shop that offers traditional Western sweets combined with the essence of modernity (around 500 JPY). While everything is delicious, a big part of their charm is the original designs and beautiful, colorful appearance of these pastries. Something you might want to order for Christmas is one of the 4 types of decoration cakes made with the motifs of a forest in winter (reservation necessary). One of the most recommended types is the étoile (4,500 JPY (incl. tax)), a white Yule log with the motif of a starry, winter night made with plenty of sweet-sour strawberries that people of all ages can enjoy.
4. Yojiya Cafe
This cafe is produced by one of Kyoto's standard souvenir makers, Yojiya. On the menu are Japanese-style roll capes, matcha cappuccinos, and other sweets and drinks made from fusing Japanese and western flavors. They also have a selection of meals, like pasta. Every year, during Christmas they offer a limited edition line-up! In 2015, they had the strawberry white Christmas opera (680 JPY), and in 2014 they offered a mixed berry and white chocolate mousse (670 JPY). It's exciting to wonder what they'll offer in 2016. Please visit the shop to find out.
*Photo is of some of their regular dishes.
5. Saryo Tsujiri
Saryo Tsujiri is a sweets shop offering products made with Uji matcha. They're popular for their shiratama anmitsu (agar jelly cubes topped with fruit, red bean paste, and dumplings made from glutinous rice) and parfaits. There are three branches in Kyoto, and during the Christmas season, each branch offers their own limited items. In 2015, the Gion branch offered a pastry called Kurisumasu (1,151 JPY (incl. tax)) made of fluffy matcha chiffon cake made to look like a momi fir tree. With the whipped cream topping, it looked exactly like a Christmas tree dusted with snow. With the addition of ice cream and a white chocolate mousse, it was a dessert that fully evoked Christmas.
*Photo is of their regular products.
There are many shops other than these that offer various products and items during the season. Please check their websites for the latest information.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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