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Satura Cakes, Take II

May 30, 2007

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A short summary of Satura Cakes:

Cakes Eaten with Spoon, Fork or Hands: Awesome!

Messy Cakes / Puff Pastry: Good

Madelines: Bad! :(

Brownies: Just OK

I’ve had such a good track record with the desserts and cakes from the Satura Cakes in Ward that I decided it was time to venture away from the dessert case and towards the huge table in the middle of the room which houses a magnificent spread of madelines, cookies, chocolate, and brownies. But it was a bad idea. So if I were you, I’d swish that hiney right around and head back to the dessert case. Because…

…some of the madelines don’t have humps!! Hehe, I’m kidding. Sort of. Some of their madelines don’t have the hump that make a madeline a madeline…which should have been the first sign that something was wrong. But I was stupid and went ahead and had, not just one, but all four of their madelines. It was a good thing this madeline tasting was split between Shann, Trisha and I. Otherwise it would have been highly inefficient allocation of madeline funds.

There’s not much to say except: avoid all the madelines. Which means as intriguing as lilikoi, green tea, coffee, and chocolate madelines may sound and appear, do not venture there! They are all equally dry, crumbly, tasteless, except for the coffee, and that’s only cause it seemed to be on ground coffee bean overload. They run about $2 a piece, and at this rate, you should just march next door to Beard Papas for a silly cream puff (which I actually really like) or, plunk down another two dollars for a real dessert.

Their brownies, which are placed next to the madeline also do not count a real dessert. And that is because it is not moist or fudgy, nor is it cakey. It is not even, gasp, chocolately! It is just dry. But I hold the brownie in higher respect than the madeline because it had a very happy ratio of mac nuts to brownie base. And I love mac nuts.

But I take back what I said about going to Beard Papa for cream puffs. This is the Beard Papa puff from the Ward location:

You should just stay at Satura’s for the cream puffs. And this is the Satura puff:

Cause if the caramel crunch flavor is on the menu, you’re good to go. They don’t fuss around or attempt to fabricate a double layer choux pastry crust. It’s almost a rustic, hearty cream puff, with a touch refined elegance that seems to pervade all Japanese inspired pastries. The pastry is crunchy with just the right heft, not airy light and buttery. The filled innards have a most wonderful mouthfeel; a billowing mound of caramel cream hinging on the taste of whipped flan and studded with crunchy toffee bits.

The cream puff is a no-utensil-use-hands affair, so you are in search of something more dainty, the roli poli is a wise choice. If you’ve lived in Hawaii for a while, you’re probably familiar with Jesse’s Pianomo Rolls sold in nearly all our local supermarkets. A Google search didn’t give me the distributor information, but if you’re up for making your own, Betty Shimabukuro at the Star Bulletin seems to have it figured out. A pianomo roll is simply a very light sponge cake with plenty of egg whites for volume, spread with whipped butter (just buttah, nothing else!) and rolled up with a dusting of sugar. When it becomes a roli poli, the whipped butter is replaced with barely sweetened pastry cream in even ratios with the sponge cake. Either way, it’s hard not to love both. So get your roli poli here, and on the way home, stop by Times (my favorite supermarket) and pick up a box of pianomo rolls for yourself. And another for your family.

On a different occasion, I had the green tea mille fille featuring caramelized puff pastry layered with green tea custard. This dessert is a disaster to share and should not be ordered on date unless you don’t mind an explosion of puff pastry and matcha powder when you attempt to gracefully demolish it with a fork. But if you’re sharing it with mom, then it’s totally okay! The custard could use more flavor, I wouldn’t have suspected green tea unless told ahead of time. Not as excited as forking into an upright roli poli or sinking your teeth into a cool caramel crunch cream puff, but thumbs up for appearance!

Satura Cakes

Ward Center

1200 Ala Moana Blvd.

Building 6, Suite 601

Honolulu, HI 96814

(8080 537-1206



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