By Hiraku Iwasaki / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterIn about two weeks, it will be Christmas. How about making a cake for a party at home this year?
On the internet, a splendid-looking cake made with pancakes instead of sponge cake, which is difficult to bake, is attracting attention. Also, various handy gadgets and ingredients to help people easily make delicious cakes are available at supermarkets and general shops.
Many people may enjoy a three-day holiday from Dec. 23 to Dec. 25 this year. The number of searches for “Christmas cake” as of late October on online shopping site Yahoo! Shopping was 1.3 times more than the figure last year. More people today seem to prioritize how their cakes look in photos because they put pictures of them on social media.
An oven is required to bake a sponge cake, but a pancake can be cooked with a frying pan. Making pancakes in various sizes and stacking them up will create a shape that looks like a tree. Cutters make it easier to prepare pancakes different in sizes.
Tigercrown Co.’s ST Mominoki-gata (fir tree cutters) is a set of six star-shaped cutters in different sizes and one round-shaped cutter. Its suggested retail price is ¥1,728 (as of Dec. 9). The cutter set can be used for pies as well.
If you want to beautifully shape fresh cream, get the Silicone Decorating Bottle Kit for ¥1,944 from OXO, the U.S. cooking and household tools maker. This kit makes it easier to adjust the amount of fresh cream you squeeze out.
It’s not easy to cut cold butter. A handy remedy is the SpreadThat! butter knife, a copper-alloy butter knife sold for ¥3,240 from the U.S. company THAT! It's easier to spread butter with the knife because the heat from your hand is quickly transferred to the knife blade.
Special pancake mixes
Taste also matters with a cake. Pancake mix lets you effortlessly make a pancake simply by adding milk or water, and an egg. Pancakes are also known as “hotcakes” in Japan.
At the Yahoo! Shopping site, Ippei Co.’s Kyushu Seven Grains Pancake Mix sells well for ¥370. Using wheat flour and grains produced in prefectures in the Kyushu region, the mix is gaining popularity for the fluffy, chewy pancakes it makes.
Nagatanien Co.’s The New Otani Hot Cake Mix vanilla type, which sells for ¥432, recreates the taste of pancakes served at high-end hotels and comes with syrup. Soico Soy Pancake Mix, produced by Beans and sold for ¥810, contains superfood chia seeds, and the firm says it enhances beauty.
Asahi Group Foods, Ltd. sells Pancake Mix for Baby for the nominal price of ¥268. The mix, which includes no food coloring or fragrance to assure safety for babies, needs no eggs or milk. One can make a pancake just by adding water with this mix.
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