Friday, February 7, 2014

Lambertz Dominos Cakes

Yes, I forgot to take a picture before I opened the package....

There are people in my life, exclusively American actually, who are very rigid in their dietary habits. They not only will consume those foods which they are confident they will enjoy, but also stick as closely as possible to specific brands. This level of fussiness is pretty extreme, and is largely demonstrated by older people who I guess have decided to embody the notion of "set in their ways" that we often associate with the elderly.

At any rate, I endeavor to be the opposite of such people and to pick up something new and unknown for the chance of finding something that I may enjoy. This little packet of cakes is the fruit of such efforts. This is a German-made confection that I had never encountered before. I found it on sale at an import market which simply calls itself "Specialty Foods". I've been there before and bought Russian cookies there. It's a cornucopia of selections from Russia, the Ukraine, Italy, Germany, France, and England. I only paid $1.39 (about 140 yen) for this. From online resources, this is rather more expensive.

When I first sampled one of these little cakes, which I believe resembles a petit four, I had no idea what the individual components were made up of. The company's web site is of no help in figuring it out so I had to do some cake dissection to figure it out. By selectively consuming each layer, I figured out that the top layer is very soft marzipan. If my readers recall my fondness for almond paste, they can likely guess how happy that makes me.

The second layer appears to be raspberry jam or some sort of fruit jelly. It's soft and easy to bite into, but not runny so I'm guessing it is some sort of fruit paste that is between a gummy and a jam. The bottom layer appears to be a gingerbread-style cake base. It's a bit coarse and dry, but pairs well with the much moister and softer top two layers.

I liked this quite a bit. The combination of flavors was unique, but had a certain harmony. I especially felt that the chocolate paired well with the fruity jam. That being said, the marzipan layer, when eaten as part of the whole, seemed to vanish into the mix and the cake base seemed mainly to offer a stable platform and textural contrast to the pastes on top rather than bringing much flavor to the whole.

I think this was definitely worth what little I paid for it, and I do enjoy eating them. I think that it suffers a bit from being shelf stable, and it likely was not at its freshest. I do not regret buying it in the least and look forward to eating it little by little. I can't say that I'd buy it again, but it is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility. I'm giving it a "happy sumo", but it's a somewhat reserved one. It is enjoyable, but probably not a repeater.


Hirayuki said...

Ooh, Aldi has these at Christmas time! They bring out a lot of German/European goodies right around then. I didn't know what these were, so I picked up a packet to try. (Sound familiar?) Apparently it's not marzipan, but a similar confection made from apricot or peach pits called persipan, and the gel stuff may be apricot-flavored.

Like you, I found it pleasant enough, but not so much that I'm jonesing for it during the off-season or anything. Their bags of assorted chocolate-dipped wafer cookies, though, are a whole 'nother story...

mysli said...

Oh, you found Domino cakes :) Though in Germany, we normally call them "domino stones".
And yes, you're right. Top layer is normally marzipan (though cheap ones often contain persipan instead - which is basically marzipan made from apricot cores, which is cheaper). Then comes fruit jelly, though I think it's normally apricot jelly? Not sure on that one, and maybe every brand uses something else. Bottom layer is rather dry, but some kind of chewy dry.
Domio cakes are a typical christmas food, you'll have a hard time finding them out of christmas season in german markets.

Orchid64 said...

Both of you are right about this being apricot kernels instead of almond. In fact, I also bought some amaretti cookies which also used apricot kernels instead of almond (as you said, because it's cheaper).

Indeed, it could be apricot jelly. It's a very dark color here and I was pretty much guessing. It's on the tart side for jam, but not bad at all!

Thanks to both of you for the added information!