Cronuts, ramen burger, then raindrop cake? The next cult dessert may be on the rise.
New York City–based chef Darren Wong created the so called “raindrop cake” inspired by traditional Mizu shingen mochi from Japan. Translated roughly as “water cake”, the shigen mochi is made from geletin rice cake and is usually toped with soya bean powder and brown sugar syrup.
“It’s a light, delicate and refreshing raindrop made for your mouth,” Wong writes about the cake on its Facebook page.
“This is a unique food experience,” Wong says. “It kind of reminds me of that scene from ‘A Bug’s Life’ where they drink water drops off of leaves.”
Wong says he started the restaurant after seeing the dessert’s wild popularity in Japan and wanted to bring it to New York. It hasn’t been easy to replicate the traditional Japanese art.
“The cake has to maintain its shape but still have the texture of water,” Wong says. “This makes the cake a nightmare to store and transport. Each cake has to be individually packed in a way that protects it from movement and temperature.”
The “raindrop cake” is based off of a traditional Japanese rice-cake sweet called the shigen mogen. It’ a well known snack in Japan made by a company called Kinseiken Seika. According to the legends, the shingen mochi was the dessert of choice for medieval warlord Shigen Takeda during wartime, hence the name.
The company that manufactures the shingen mochi makes the confection out of a “renowned water source in the Southern Japanese Alps” and the resulting cake is so soft that “it feels like it might break with just a gentle poke, and it melts away like water in your mouth.”
Wong’s cake is a bit different. He serves his cake with two toppings: brown maple sugar and roasted soybean flour. As for the taste? It isn’t sweet and tastes like water, but the fun part is the jelly-like texture that slides around in your mouth.
The cake itself is calorie free, but the toppings may add a few. Here are more pictures:
The raindrop cake store is currently showcasing in Smorgasburg flee market in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY.
Before you rush over with your friends hoping to devour a delicious dessert, set your expectations. Although it looks delicious, the cake is tasteless and is more suited to the more subtle palettes of the Japanese islanders. Many New Yorkers who have tried it say you’re better off enjoying the photos than the dessert itself.
“Tried the raindrop cake and it was like eating water jello. It was totally not worth $8,” one Yelp reviewer Mary C. wrote, “It looks beautiful in social media and through photos and this is what’s bringing the hype.”
“Somehow not an April Fool’s joke. Stand in line for a good while to drop $8 (cash only, of course) on a single breast implant that tastes like water,” writes another reviewer while leaving a 1-star review, the lowest out of possible five, “but at least you have the social media cred now, right?”
To be fair, it looks amazing on social media, so hopping over there just for the photos isn’t a bad idea. Hey, we won’t judge.