Sweet Refreshment on a Summer Afternoon

Ice-cold Strawberry Soda 

Isabelle and I went out for a bit of shopping on Saturday and endured a real roaster of a day; “scorching-hot” was definitely an understatement!  With parched throats and frayed nerves, we were ready for some serious refreshment by the time 4:00 PM rolled around.

Now, the Brits would probably like a jolly cuppa tea at that hour, but hot tea – even our favorite Royal Milk Tea (tea brewed directly into a pot of hot full-cream milk) – and stodgy scones and things were definitely not an option.  Instead, we decided to have a more refreshing afternoon treat.

I’ve mentioned time and again that JiPan Japanese Bakery is one of my favorite eateries because of the delicious and unusual things on their menu.  We certainly weren’t disappointed.

We ordered frosty-cold strawberry sodas (pictured at the top of this post) made on the premises with imported strawberry syrup and soda water.  Sweet and tart all at the same time and oh-so-soothing to our dry throats.

While my kid sister opted for the chocolate mousse cup (a cupful of mousse with only a very thin layer of kasutera – Japanese sponge cake – on the bottom), I decided to have the fridge-cold mont blanc.

Mont Blanc

Mont blanc or “white mountain” en Francais is a dessert traditionally served during the winter Holidays.  Quite simply, it’s a sweetened chestnut puree pushed through a ricer and the resulting “threads” served with cream.  It’s supposed to be quite stodgy and rich.  JiPan’s version, however, is more like a cross between the traditional pudding and a more modern cheesecake.  Served in a gold-paper cup, this particular mont blanc involves a thin kasutera base topped with a scoop of sweetened cream cheese, squiggles of pureed chestnut, and a walnut half.

Look at all that cream cheese - YUMMERS!!!

The grainy puree makes for a pleasant contrast with the smooth creaminess of the cheese beneath it.  The chestnut puree was sweet, definitely nutty, and – oh, what’s this?!?- had a pleasant coffee-like aftertaste.  Though it was a tad too sweet, it worked very well with the salty-tang of the cream cheese.  My one gripe had to be the kasutera as it was too dry.  

All in all, however, it was still a lovely summer treat. 

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