Restaurant: Kreation Artisan Cake
Last visited: December 28, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC (South Cambie)
Address: 3357 Cambie Street
Price range: $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Owner/Pastry chef Kaeko Kanno
- True family operation – husband, kids, friends assisted
- Tiny/hidden bakery, easily missed
- Very unique desserts and creative cakes
- French meets West Coast fusion style cakes
- Made in small batches
- Gourmet/high end cakes
- Limited selection of in store single serving cakes available daily
- Limited selection of 6′ and 8′ cakes available daily
- Most cakes available with 3 days notice
- Wedding cakes/special occasion cakes
- Can be made without wheat based flour
- Can customize orders according to allergies/preferences
- Small baked goods gifts available
- Take-out only
- Accepts Debit/Visa/MC
- Parking available at the back or meter parking
Recommendation: Blue Ricotta Mousse, Earl Gray Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Passion fruit (tried previously), and I’ve heard that the Tiramisu is good, but I haven’t tried it
Kreation Artisan Cake is a bakery that offers and arrangement of cakes, cheesecakes, mousse, cupcakes and tarts. Pastry chef Kaeko Kanno’s style reminds me of Thomas Haas’s approach to chocolate. After some research it’s no wonder I was able to draw the parallel. It turns out Kaeko Kanno worked under Thomas Haas when he owned Senses Bakery, however the bakery closed a couple years back. Since then Haas has opened Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates and Patisserie and Kaeko Kanno opened Kreation Artisan Cake.
The two have very similar styles in terms of flavours and ingredients, however their focus is different. It’s obvious by the names of the each store that the focus is different; however the clientele is more or less the same.
I came across Kreation Artisan Cake in June 2009 and I distinctly remember the time frame because it was near my birthday. I wasn’t looking for dessert at the time, but me and my best friend were doing out usual after dinner crusade scouting out restaurants we’ve never noticed. This is definitely one we would have never noticed if we weren’t walking right by it. It’s easily missed although it’s located on the strip. It’s just so small and truly one of those neighborhood gems.
There’s plenty to “oooh” and “ahhh” over once you walk in. The display case offers a selection of individual cakes that are available to-go. There’s nowhere to sit so it’s definitely more of a cake order/gift shop bakery. Most of the cakes have a simple clean finish, but undeniably gourmet look to them. The ingredients are so unique and creative so if you’re tired of chocolate cake and vanilla butter cream then Kreation Artisan Cake is for you. It’s French meets West Coast and the results are handcrafted homemade classic cakes made with exotic ingredients like passion fruit, teas and even herbs like tarragon!
My friend ordered 6 individual serving cakes for our Christmas dinner and I obviously had to try every single one. We all did. I’m big on the sharing if you didn’t notice already =). I really wish I had the descriptions beside me while I was trying them. I only had the names of them so I didn’t know what to expect. I also wish I had bigger pieces of a few of them… sometimes bite size pieces don’t do the cakes justice, so I’ll keep that in mind throughout my review. I’ve also tried 2 other cakes from here before this occasion, but I won’t focus on those.
On the table
Caramel Nuts – 3.5/6
- Milk chocolate ganache & caramel butter cream with caramelized crushed pecan between layers of frangelico soaked hazelnut sponge $5.50
- If you’re not too adventurous and like your simple cakes and flavours then go for this one. This is the cake that will appeal to the masses. It sounds more gourmet than it tastes, but it still tastes good.
- I had to use my taste buds to pick out the flavour because I had no description. Sometimes this can be a good thing, but sometimes you want to know what to expect so you’re not disappointed.
- This reminded me of Thomas Haas’s Caramel Pecan chocolate. I enjoyed that more though; it was so different and original.
- It’s not that sweet at first bite, but as you continue to eat it then it gets sweeter.
- It’s really creamy, crunchy, nutty and sweet. It stood up really well and the ratio of all the layers was perfect, however I could have done with a little less caramel in that caramelized crushed pecan. It just got a bit too sweet because the layer was quite thick. I did like the texture it brought though.
- The crushed pecans around the edges of the cake were actually crushed pralines, so this added another layer of sweetness and a different type of crunch.
- I couldn’t taste the Frangelico (hazelnut liquor), but overall the cake had a distinctly nutty flavour.
- If you like caramel and nuts, then you’ll love “Caramel Nuts”. It tastes like caramel + nuts, but those gourmet touches didn’t shine through, which is kind of a bummer.
Blueberry Ricotta – Mousse6/6
- Glazed ricotta mousse, blueberry cream, vanilla sponge $5.25
- This was delicious and my winner out of the 6. It was light, airy, slightly tangy and not that sweet.
- I’m not a fan of cheesecake, but I like Tiramisu. This one had ricotta which is a light tasting cheese so I didn’t mind it because it reminded me of the light tasting mascarpone cheese in Tiramisu. The cheese taste is so light and it made for a very fluffy and moist mousse. The Ricotta mousse was all around the cake.
- I loved the vanilla sponge cake because it gave it some texture otherwise I would have gotten sick of it faster. It was very moist and soft, neutral tasting, and held the flavour of the blueberries and ricotta well. It would be nice to see some actual vanilla bean specs in the cake, because I couldn’t actually taste vanilla. They could have said “white cake” and I would have believed that. It’s still – 6/6.
- The blueberry centre is a real blueberry puree or compote. It’s quite thick, but not too sweet. You can tell by the colour it wasn’t really creamy, so I don’t know why they call it “blueberry cream”.
- It had some white chocolate shavings, glazed mandarin zest and a little lemon zest on top for décor, which was perfect. Lemon zest, ricotta and blueberries are a threesome made in heaven… add some white chocolate and OMG! It reminds me of the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes I had in Kelowna that I put on my Top 10 Favourite Foods list of 2009.
Green Tea Chestnut – 2.5/6
- Green tea dacqouise, caramelized meringue, chestnut cream between layers of green tea cake $5.50
- Ahhh so it’s a dacqouise cake! If I had the description I might have enjoyed it more because I would be expecting a dacqouise cake – a French cake made of layers of meringue and cream. Since I didn’t know I didn’t really enjoy it that much because I was expecting a “Green Tea Chestnut” cake.
- This is a really unique cake and it stood out to be first. She put an Asian twist to a traditional dacqouise cake by making the meringue a Matcha meringue and changing the traditional butter cream to a chestnut cream. Too bad it sounds better on paper.
- The caramelized meringue top layer was much too sweet and it had this granulated sugar texture that was very gritty. I hated the texture of it. It was crispy and a bit creamy and reminded me of the Matcha Macaroons from Say See Bon, but those are actually good. It might not be fair to compare meringue to macaroons because they are different, but they do share similar characteristics.
- The second overly sweet part was the white part that’s disguised as a white cake layer. It wasn’t! It was almost like a pure icing sugar layer mixed with granulated crystallized sugar. It was crusty and almost powdery, and not hard, but gritty. None of us liked that part and put it off to the side.
- The Matcha cake part is good and made with Matcha powder and it really comes through.
- The chestnut cream was good and not too sweet, but I prefer the ones from Asian bakeries more. I prefer a thicker chestnut layer too, would have tones down the sweetness.
- This cake was the sweetest of all, overly sweet, almost to the po int of ‘hurts your teeth’ sweet. Parts of it were like pure icing sugar.
Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse – 4.5/6
- Manjari Tea mousse, tea brulée, tea almond sponge cake, topped with meringue & almond slices $5.50
- This is another one that called my name. I’ve wanted to try this one for a very log time. It reminds me of Thomas Haas’s Earl Grey Tea chocolate. But I enjoyed this cake more; it had a stronger Earl Grey flavour I wanted.
- It was very aromatic and nutty in flavour and because I had no description I had to rely on my taste buds again. I thought it was a hazelnut sponge cake. I think I would have enjoyed this one more if I had a bigger piece of it, I could get a better idea of what was going on.
- It smells like Earl Grey Tea and tastes like it too. There’s tea in the cake batter and the leaves are really infused in the mousse. The chocolate mousse is light and not too sweet which is good because I wouldn’t want to over power the tea flavour. I think the chocolate could be a darker chocolate because it would have given it a slightly bitter flavour which may have enhanced the Earl Gray flavour.
- I could have used a much thicker tea almond sponge cake layer. There was a bit too much chocolate Tea mousse and it was too thick around the edges.
- I don’t remember the tea brulee standing out too much, which is really sad because if I had the description I would have paid more attention to it.
Raspberry Ganache – 2.5/6
- Chocolate ganache (dark, milk or white) w/ raspberries between layers of chocolate sponge $5.50
- We had the dark chocolate ganache, but I think a white chocolate ganache would have been more suitable… even though I love dark chocolate way more than white.
- This one is the most bitter of all the cakes, so the chocolate used is probably a 68% cocoa or even higher.
- I’m not a huge fan of fruit and chocolate, and it has to be done really well for me to enjoy it. It must be fresh fruit, because artificial fruit flavours and chocolate is almost a guaranteed ‘no’ on my list.
- The texture was very inconsistent. Parts of it were very crumbly, which means too dry, and other parts were very moist to the point of being wet. I’m not sure how many days in advance these cakes are made, but this one had the texture of at least 2 days in a fridge.
- It had a thin raspberry layer made with fresh raspberries, but it wasn’t overpowering although it stood out. It was quite tart and went well with the chocolate.
- The chocolate ganache was really soft and flexible, almost like fondant.
- I really didn’t like the candy snowman decal on it… I think it “cheapens” the look. I’m not holding it against them because it was for the holidays… but just saying.
Egg Nog (Holiday Special) – 5/6
- Egg nog mousse cake with a gingerbread crust and pomegranate compote $5.50 (I don’t have the exact description, but it’s how I can best describe it)
- Too bad this is holiday cake. I liked it! It was my second favourite cake.
- It was the second lightest cake next to the Blueberry Ricotta Mousse cake.
- It looked like a cheesecake, but it wasn’t. I really like the texture of their mousse. It nice and light, not too sweet and very airy and fluffy. It had a distinct egg nog flavour, but it wasn’t overly creamy either, it was spongier.
- The gingerbread crust was obvious because it had a cinnamon and clove flavour. It was very soft and moist, but almost to the point of pasty and wet. I think it was because it was pre-made and in the fridge though. I usually like a thin bottom crust but in this case I wouldn’t have minded if it was a bit thicker. It was a good idea, and different so I wanted more of it. It was a great touch to a holiday cake.
- I loved the pomegranate seeds, although some may think it’s distracting. I liked the texture and colour it brought and it reassured me that the compote was made with real pomegranates. It was sweet, but also a bit tart so there was a great balance.
- The “pomegranate compote” is what I’m calling it; I don’t actually know what it was supposed to be. It was more like a pomegranate gelatin, but it melted nicely in your mouth.
- The gingerbread and eggnog are obvious matches and the pomegranate gave it a slight tang and made it a bit refreshing. It was almost like a fruit pie with custard. A ve ry unique cake and well executed and thought out.
From another occassion…
- Raspberry & passionfruit cream between layers of light coconut sponge cake soaked w/ passion fruit liqueur
- To be honest, I don’t rememeber what it tastes like, but all I know was that everyone liked it.