2021 just started, and everybody around us is posting their new year resolutions on clean diets and fitness routines. But let’s be real, even the most strict fitness addicts have those days when all you want for your cheat meal is that tempting piece of cake! Among numerous Macau cake shops, The Mandarin Cake Shop at Mandarin Oriental, Macau is on the top of our list. Notably, many sweet tooths would agree on having a cake for every occasion and every taste. Read on to see which one makes your heart beat faster and your stomach growl.
If local flavors appeal to you
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Having substantial experience with classic French pastry under his belt, chef Sebastien admits that he has never worked with ingredients inherent to Asian desserts before coming to Macau. That didn’t stop him from tasting, experimenting, and eventually incorporating things like lotus and pandan in familiar recipes. Long story short, that’s how Pink Bloom was born in Mandarin Oriental, Macau’s pastry kitchen. It has become the cake shop’s signature cake and its exclusive dessert–you won’t find it in any other Mandarin Oriental hotels.
Lotus is one of the national symbols of Macau that represents purity, enlightenment, and life cycle. The minimalistic pale pink cake is made with lotus cream and sponge cake infused with Earl Grey mousse. Pink Bloom offers delicate flavors and silky texture, a rewarding combination for those who are not afraid to try something out of the ordinary.
If cheesecakes are up your alley
While one of the most well-known variations of cheesecake comes from New York, its origins go way back to Ancient Greece, where it was served to Olympic athletes to give them more energy. So next time you blame yourself for indulging in this cake, remember those bygone Greek champions!
French cheesecakes are usually lighter and more velvety than their international competitors. That’s precisely how chef Sebastien and his team make them at The Mandarin Cake Shop and guests can choose between mango, blueberry, and strawberry flavors. All of them are made with a smooth cream cheese base that melts on your tongue and topped with Chantilly cream (sweetened whipped cream with vanilla). We love the strawberry one for its fresh, flavorful Taiwanese strawberries and a pinch of salt contributes to the overall balance of this cheesecake.
If subtle flavors are what you crave
Sometimes traditional desserts are too eggy, too sweet, too intense, simply too much for sensitive tastebuds. Can you relate? Then focus your attention on the Bellini cake, the epitome of delicate textures and subtle flavors. The round-shaped cake is crowned with sugar dough, strawberries, and raspberries. Underneath the festive red glaze, a silky spongecake is infused with tea that gives the dessert its distinguished flavor. The strawberry compote in the center adds a fresh acidic note to it. For the sophisticated cake aficionados that like their sweets to be complex, multi-layered when it comes to flavor yet not overwhelming, the Bellini would be an accurate match.
If chocolate runs through your veins
Remember the renowned Ferrero Rocher chocolates? Now imagine one and increase its size by 10 times. Here you have Mac Rocher, a round cake with balanced flavors and varying textures. Inside the hazelnut and dark chocolate coating with crunchy bits of biscuits, there is delicate dark chocolate ganache (a marriage of chocolate and cream) and praline cream in the center.
Chocolate desserts usually tend to be the sweetest of all, but not the Mac Rocher. The level of sugar is balanced and not overwhelming. Generally, chef Sebastien aims to reduce the amount of sugar in all his creations, making them slightly healthier.
If you go nuts for nuts
Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch has been available at the shop since its opening. If there was a Macau Lifestyle food awards, we’d give this piece the title of “Sexiest Cake in Macau.” The presentation resembles one of those extravagant Philip Treacy’s hats for English aristocrats. But the key to its success is, of course, in the taste. After having the first bite of this elegant creation, it is not hard to figure out why this cake hasn’t left The Mandarin Cake Shop’s shelves. The marriage of different flavors and textures come together in absolute perfection with the taste of sweet praline, the bitterness of airy dark chocolate mousse, a tad of saltiness, earthy hazelnut, and crunchy bits of biscuits.
If you find French classics charmant
Among the cake shop’s many tempting options, Napoleon tempted more guests than any other dessert there and became the bestseller. What’s there not to love? Its French name is a promise of outstanding quality, and the way it’s presented will make the grumpiest skeptics drop their jaws. Three caramelized flaky pastry layers are connected with perfectly equal custard cream droplets and decorated with either strawberry, mango, or mixed fruit. It’s tricky to eat, but who cares when it tastes like heaven?
Don’t share it with your loved ones, it’s too good! However, if you do want them to experience this perfection of a cake, it can be ordered in larger sizes. Most of the cakes are available in one, two, or three pounds.
About pastry chef Sebastien Bernis
The friendly and ambitious chef Sebastien Bernis has been with Mandarin Oriental, Macau, since 2012, offering his experience on French pastry with a local twist. While he is capable of creating the most complicated 3D cakes, he most enjoys baking simple grandma recipes like a chocolate fondant and apple pie.
Also read: Let Them Eat Cake: Macau’s Best Cake Shops