It’s hard to resist the call of this dessert constructed by Sadaharu Aoki, the most Parisian of Japanese pastry chefs. Its impeccably round shape, its electric yellow color, its almost perfect symmetry – everything about it flatters our eyes. This cake clearly wants to be judged! Cake Justice carries out an expedited procedure and presents you with the report of the audition.
Underneath its shimmering yellow coating, the Citron Praliné by Saraharu Aoki is composed of a lemon mousse wrapped around a macaron biscuit, a thin layer of lemon cream, and a sheet of crispy praline. All of this rests on another, larger, yellow macaron biscuit.
The cake has a diameter of 70 mm and a height of 60 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 89 grams and costs 5.30 euros.
The lemon cream, feather-light and fresh, is pleasantly tart. The macaron it envelops has a nice almond taste, and while it is yellow, we did not detect a lemon flavor in it, which left us with the impression of a plain macaron that has been colored. It has a classic texture, resembling that of the small macarons one can buy in-store. Beneath the macaron, a thin layer of lemon cream, rather mild in taste, sits on top of a thin sheet of crispy praliné made of crêpes dentelles (very thin layers of lace biscuit). A hazelnut flavor emerges from the praliné, and although it is pleasant, it comes off as slightly out of place in the midst of so much lemon. Furthermore, it is only present in small quantity, and we believe it could be replaced. The larger macaron which forms the base of the cake also tastes like a plain macaron which has been colored.
This Lemon Praliné is in reality a sort of macaron-mousse, as these are the two elements which we notice most in the dessert, the mousse being delicious. The transition with the crispy sheet of praliné could be better managed, given that when we slice the dessert, the mousse collapses before the sheet breaks.
This dessert could be perfected by the addition of fruit morsels, a coulis or a compote. Admittedly, the textures present in this cake are faultless, but the praliné does not come off as essential. Yet it is the element which stays the longest on the palate, and ends up dulling the lemon taste. We believe another association of flavors could better preserve the freshness of this cake.
Score: 3/5 Good
35 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France