Tuesday, July 14, 2009
1Caramel is the dessert spinoff from One Rochester, which also runs 1Twenty-Six (are you seeing a pattern here yet?). They aim to combine the best of French pastry-making techniques with winsome aesthetics of Japanese presentation. The place is small - a tiny 60-seater cafe located at the Luxe, a condomimium complex next to Cathay. But the menu is pretty extensive - 27 cakes, in addition to other desserts, the famous liquid desserts that One Rochester concocted, and a handful of savoury items.
Lychee rose (S$7.90 per slice, $75 whole cake) : lychee rose mousse with juicy lychee jelly and Valrhona ivory chocolate glaze.
It's more lychee than rose. Comes across as a bit weak and mild, but of all the cakes, this is the one easiest to eat and not be satiated, I think.
Red Velvet (S$7.90 per slice, $75 whole cake) : velvet sponge with layers of rich dark chocolate and cherry ganache. This Southern classic, normally with white or cream frosting, has been given a goth upgrade. The black makes it look like a devilish diva. But for all the naughty expectations it stirred up, the cake failed to deliver where it mattered most. It tasted dry, dense and flat.
Nid d'abeilles, or "Honeycomb" in French (S$7.90 per slice, S$75 whole cake) : layers of honey chiboust cream, strawberry jelly sandwiched with crispy almond dacquoise. The light custardy chiboust was redolent of honey (although others did not find it so). This was probably the most unusual cake in the line-up we had, but like the rest, it also fell short of greatness.
The Chocolate Praline Cake (S$7.90 per slice, $75 whole cake) is their cocoa signature. It's made of layers of chocolate mousse and hazelnut praline feuilletine. I say, too much mousse and too little feuilletine! I want to be able to taste the crunch that's direly missing here.
Mango mascarpone (S$8.90 per slice, S$85 whole cake) : mango compote atop mascarpone cream cheese on a coconut crumble base. A very light cheesecake indeed, more of a mango cake. Actually, there was no cake texture at all, mostly just fruit and cream. We lost a bit of the coconut crumble from bad slicing. Yes, cake-slicing skill at this shop could use some serious improvement. Half our cakes came with rough edges especially with broken, jagged bases.
Blackforest (S$7.90 per slice, S$75 whole cake). Chocolate cream, chocolate sponge and kirsch-soaked cherries. Where are the cherries? I counted perhaps two. This blackforest is less than bountiful.
Perhaps we did not choose their better cakes. But although nothing stood out, I learned some new things about cakes just from the sheer variety. As I'm not much of a dessert person, stuff like chiboust and dacquoise is new to me.
However, I did not find anything particularly Japanese about the presentation. And I really wish chefs and cooks will GIVE UP (!!!) decorating plates with sauce. Trust me, it's a waste of time. Bring the plate out to the hungry customer. Yes, now! We had to wait quite a while for our cakes to be ready.
There are drinks to go with your cake. Evan had the iced cafe mocha, which looks like more delicious than all the cakes!
Interestingly, there is an art gallery just to the right of the cafe. 1Caramel opens til really late at night (up til 1am on Fri and Sat), so you can probably grab a sweet bite together with a late night movie.
Check out what Bossacafez and Ladyironchef had to say about the cakes.
1CARAMEL - PATISSERIE. CAFE. ATELIER
6 Handy Road
#01-01A The Luxe
Open: Sundays to Thursdays: 11am to 11pm
Fridays and Saturdays: 11 to 1am
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