Before living in Japan, I have never heard of Baumkuchen in my life, not even when I visited Germany, twice! For those of you who haven't heard of a Baumkuchen, it's in a roll shape, while tens if not hundreds of thin cake layers that originated in Germany, and was introduced to Japan during WWI.
While I was in Tokyo last year, and was particularly in the Ginza area. I noticed that there were a long line of people lining up buying some type of snack in a large department store. Of course, being an obsessive tourist I was, I followed everyone else, and got a piece of this round looking cake from a stand called Nenri-ke.
Personally, I thought it tasted alright, however there was nothing too special about it. It tasted like butter cake, with sugar glance on top of it. It is a good snack to have with a cup of coffee in the morning, but other than that, it didn't 'wow' me. At that time, I did not realize that the baumkuchen I purchased is considered the best in Tokyo.
Fast forwarding a year, my wonderful friend brought back a limited edition of the baumkuchen from the same store I had tasted in the previous year. At first, I was hesitant to try it, because I thought it was exactly the same thing I brought last year. I totally ignored the big orange English words that said 'Straight Baum Orange Fondant'. It wasn't until I opened the package that I realized the differences.
Once opened, I realized that the cake was covered with orange glance, and orange pieces. Cutting it into tiny bits, just because I was still hesitant. After taking the first bite, the orange glance was overwhelming. I have never been a fan of orange glance, nor tangerine flavor, therefore, I couldn't really stand it, at first, of course. On a second bit, I could finally cherish the taste of the orange and the baumkuchen together. It was magnificent. The cake wasn't too sweet, nor too orangey for my taste. It was a perfect combination between a tiny bit of sour and the sweet. It is a perfect snack for an afternoon tea, with earl grey tea.
I am very happy with the outcome of this snack, especially the one that can only be found in Tokyo, and is a limited seasonal version. Checking on the website, it costs 945 for this tiny, yet not so tiny thing. As a snack, I think at least it's enough for 4 people. (Diameter of 17cm.)
For those who may be wandering around Ginza, or is planning to travel to Tokyo, I highly recommend you to try it!