Delicious desserts for 250 yen or under that you will certainly fall in love with!
If you have a sweet tooth, Japan is definitely the place to be. From wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) to western sweets or from simple, snack desserts to fancy, luxurious cakes, Japan certainly has some of the best selection of desserts to indulge in. Delicious desserts certainly do not have to be pricey. Here are my recommendations of some affordable and mouthwatering desserts to satisfy your sweet cravings:
BAKE cheese tarts
Bake (also known as Kinotoya Bake), originally from Hokkaido, has approximately 20 shops across Japan which serve its famous cheese tart specialty. Ten of its shops reside in Tokyo or Kanto area, with the rest in major cities including Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, etc. The delightful aroma of freshly baked cheese tarts often attracts line-ups in front of the shops, but as they sell only one specialty item, the lines tend to move fairly steadily. The freshly baked cheese tarts are sold for 216 yen each (including tax) and are irresistibly delicious. The secret to its tastiness lies in both the filling and the crust. The cream cheese filling is made from a well-balanced blend of 3 types of cream cheese, including one from Hakodate, Hokkaido which has a lighter flavour, another one from Betsukai, Hokkaido which has a richer flavour, then combined with a saltier French cream cheese. The cream cheese filling is only mildly sweet and is perfectly browned on the surface, while creamy and gooey on the inside. In addition, the crust is especially crispy, as it is twice-baked – the crust is baked by itself once, then baked once again after adding the cream cheese filling. The cheese tarts can be eaten fresh, or if you choose to buy takeout, they can also be eaten chilled (like rare cheesecake) or frozen (like cheese ice-cream), and of course they can simply be reheated if you prefer it warm. Note that most of its shops are for takeout only but if you prefer café style, the Tokyo location in Jiyuugaoka has a café.
Croquant chou zakuzaku also originates from the same company as BAKE cheese tarts and has 3 shops in Tokyo – Harajuku, Ikebukuro and Kamata. Croquant chou zakuzaku is basically a crunchy version of a choux cream or cream puff pastry in a stick form, hence the name. Croquant means crunchy in French and so does zakuzaku in Japanese, while chou represents the choux pastry which is used for eclairs, cream puffs, etc.
Croquant chou zakuzaku is an absolute delight and is sold for a reasonable price of 250 yen each (including tax). The pastry is made from flour from Hokkaido and baked with almonds coated with sugar and egg white, giving its crunchy texture. The filling is prepared with freshly made custard cream, made from fresh milk and butter from Hokkaido. Do expect to line-up for this yummy snack, but the wait is fairly reasonable. The pastry is constantly baked fresh and you can actually watch the staffs make and fill the pastry while waiting. In addition to the croquant chou, they also serve soft ice-cream with almond crunch.