Spotted: Vegetable Cakes

Food & Drink - May 4th, 2010

“No dessert unless you finish your vegetables” – how many times have parents said this to their fussy children? But what if vegetables are the dessert?

When a friend mentioned a patisserie that specializes in cakes made with vegetables, I was immediately hooked. I love vegetables. I love cake. Thus, the idea of an avocado cheesecake or a tomato shortcake sounded fascinating (and quite possibly, a teeny bit scary).

Patisserie Potager, an utterly charming cafe with covered outdoor seating in Nakameguro, creates cakes made with asparagus, tomatoes, kabocha squash, avocado and carrots, among other vegetables. On a recent Sunday, the steady stream of customers in search of desserts such as carrot-chocolate flan, green short tomato cake and cream puffs filled with beet, kabocha, tomato or carrot-infused pastry cream was neverending.

After perusing all of their beautiful offerings carefully, I finally decided on a whip cream-filled asparagus roll cake. Rolled inside a sponge cake made with vegetables and grains were two layers of cream – a green cream with chunks of pureed asparagus, and a white cream that tasted a bit like cream of asparagus soup. The aparagus flavor shined through, but confused my tastebuds. My eyes told me this was dessert, but my tastebuds screamed vegetables.

Although I wouldn’t exactly describe it as delicious, the entire experience was delightful, whimsical and utterly unique.

– Deb