Fancy cafe style from simple convenience store snacks.

There are three reasons why confectioner Lotte’s Bikkuriman chocolate wafers are a staple of candy aisles in Japan: they taste good, they’re cheap, and they come with stickers.

▼ Bikkuriman

What kind of stickers? Well, that depends on when you buy them, since Bikkuriman is constantly embarking on new promotional partnerships.

In the past there have been Star Wars and Evangelion stickers, but what caught our Japanese-language reporter Ayaka Idate’s attention was a recent tie-up with Touken Ranbu, the anime/video game franchise about samurai swords turned into hot dudes.

Since handsome anime boys and katana history are two of Ayaka’s favorite things, and because you only get one sticker per Bikkuriman, Ayaka came back from the store with a ton of snacks.

Bikkuriman is plenty tasty, and for a while Ayaka was happy to have a huge stockpile of sweets. However, she also realized she might get tired of eating the exact same snack day after day, and so she started wondering if there was any way to add a new element to her Bikkuriman binge.

That’s when she remembered a friend of hers telling about soaking cookies in milk in order to make pie crust.

“So if I soak a stack of Bikuriman in milk, will it turn into a cake?” Ayaka asked herself, and there was only one way to find out.

▼ Visualization of Ayaka’s plan

She grabbed a tupperware container, spread some plastic wrap on the bottom, set a stack of five chocolate wafers on top of it, and poured in some milk.

To keep the wafers from floating on top of the milk, as opposed to soaking in it like she wanted them to, she needed to put some sort of weight on top. For reasons she didn’t tell us (and which we’re afraid to ask about), the closest thing she had on hand was a shiny pair of brass knuckles.

▼ Pictured: perfectly normal kitchen equipment

Then she put the container in her fridge, let it sit overnight, and came back to taste test it the next morning, because eating cake for breakfast is OK when you’re doing it in a professional capacity.

Unfortunately, her enthusiasm about starting the day off with dessert was dampened when she unwrapped the Bikkuriman.

The wafers’ night-long milk bath had left them soggy and misshapen. When she took a bite, the flavor was OK, but between the unappealing looks and mushy mouthfeel, it felt like she’d gone to a lot of trouble just to make a less enjoyable dessert than the normal Bikkuriman she’d started off with

So was that the end? Hardly.

Like we said, Ayaka had bought a lot of Bikkuriman to fulfill her need for Touken Ranbu stickers, so she had enough left for a second cake-making attempt.

Since the sogginess of her failed first try was obviously the result of using too much milk, this time she cut back on the moo juice. Instead of soaking the wafers, she quickly dunked each in milk before stacking them.

Then, once again, she wrapped them and let them chill in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning she checked the results, and this time her Bikkuriman cake had kept its shape!

As a matter of fact, it looked a lot like mille crepes, the fancy French layered crepe cake served at stylish cafes.

Both the texture and flavor were far better than her first attempt, but there was still room for improvement. The wafers were just a touch too soft, and the chocolate a bit too hard, and the discordant textures were keeping their flavors from harmonizing too. On a whim, Ayaka decided to pop her cake into the microwave for 30 seconds, and…

…that did the trick! The brief heating firmed up the wafers, softened the chocolate, and gave her a delicious, melty indulgence that was even better than eating the Bikkuriman right out of the package.

It can get a little messy though, so don’t forget to have a napkin handy, and also to take any commemorative photos to show off to your friends before you start to really dig in.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]