Very Personal 3-D Chocolates

3-D Chocolate Replica of your Face

It might be too late to personalize your chocolates for Valentine’s Day this year, but for next year, how about gifting 3-D chocolates of your face?  Leave it up to the Japanese to take this sweet Valentine’s Day tradition and turn it a bit too personal!  For just 6000 yen (about $68), 15 winners joined a 2-day workshop in Shibuya to make chocolate replicas of their faces using 3-D scanners, printers, and personalized silicon molds.

3-D Chocolate Replica of your Face

3-D Chocolate Replica of your Face

3-D Chocolate Replica of your Face

3-D Chocolate Replica of your Face

I’m not narcissistic enough to want my own facial mold, but I can see how this process would be great for making custom favors or decor. Personally, I find the idea of opening a box of chocolates to find my friend staring up at me a bit frightening.  And if you actually do eat the chocolate, does that mean that you really like or hate your friend?

Wishing you all a lovely Valentine’s Day :)

[all images via FabCafe]

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Tokyo Desserts and Cafes Part 2

There just wasn’t enough room for all of the cafes yesterday so let’s continue the Tokyo dessert bonanza!  Here’s some more of our favorite places:

My favorite dessert shops and cafes in Tokyo

From the top left to bottom right:
Gazebo (Ebisu-Nishi)
Paper Moon (Hiroo)
King’s Cross, Paper Moon, Two Rooms (Omotesando)
Microcosmos Cafe (Shibuya)

Tokyo Desserts & Cafes

Walking around Tokyo, you’ll soon realize that it’s a haven for the sweet tooth.  Tokyo has such a great blend of Japanese, European, Chinese, and American desserts – and all done to perfection.  Zhing and I have a soft spot for desserts, and we definitely did the city justice.  Here’s just a small splattering of some of our favorite Tokyo desserts over the past year and a half!  More to come tomorrow :)

My Favorite Tokyo Desserts and Cafes

From the top left to bottom right, by row:
Giotto (multiple locations), 100% Chocolate Cafe (Kyobashi)
Starbucks (multiple locations), Homemade Cupcakes and Sorbet
Berry Parlour (Minami-Aoyama), Echire (Maranouchi)
Berry Parlour (Minami-Aoyama), Lupicia Salon (Jiyugaoka)

Happy White Day: The Day of Triple Returns

– Chocolate from Jean Paul Hevin –

It’s White Day in Japan!  White Day is women payback for Valentine’s Day in Japan.  Since women slaved over the stove making homemade chocolates for the important men (partners, friends, coworkers) in their lives for Valentine’s Day, the favor is returned today.  On White Day, men give (store-bought.. of course) desserts or gifts to all of the women who gave them something on V-Day.  Yesterday and today, men lined up outside dessert shops to buy sweets for their sweeties!

– A VERY Chocolate-y Hot Chocolate from Jean Paul Hevin –

White Day still isn’t as commercialized or as celebrated as Valentine’s Day in the States – restaurants, movie theaters, and romantic spots won’t be filled with loving couples today.  But like all smart women, we’ve found our way to capitalize on this holiday with a little rule called sanbai gaeshi, which translates to ‘triple return’!  Although it’s not set in stone, this tradition urges men to give a gift on White Day that’s triple the cost of the gift received on Valentine’s Day.  Let’s see if my husband brings anything home!  If not, I have my bases covered – I picked up 2 cakes today! :)

Help me shop for desserts!

It’s time to vote for your favorite dessert for the chance to win one… million… awesome.. dollars review!  I’ve been waiting for interesting desserts from my grocery delivery service (Co-Op Deli), and since Valentine’s Day is coming up, they’ve finally arrived!  Here’s how it works:

Vote for your favorite dessert featured here by Thursday in the poll below.  I’ll order the most popular one (or two) and review it here when it arrives next week!  Still confused?  Take a look at the last voting and review.  And away we go!

1. Cherry Blossom Jello

2. Strawberry Layered Cheesecake

3. Strawberry Yogurt Trifle with a hint of orange

4. Raspberry Chocolate Mont Blanc

Happy voting!  I hope you had a great weekend!

Spreading S’more Love – American Omiyages

Since New Years holiday, I’ve been crazy about s’mores!  Most Japanese haven’t heard of s’mores so I thought I’d make some for my students as an American omiyage.

– I love the look of roasted marshmallows.  I baked them for two minutes in the oven –

– Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate from Costco –

– Packaged s’mores, ready to spread American culture! –