New release serves up three delicious desserts in one cup.

In September last year, Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart held a “Soufflé Pudding Festival” at branches across the nation to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The festival showcased different regional versions of the Soufflé Pudding, the chain’s most popular sweet, which were devised by local staff and limited for sale in their respective regions.

One of the regional varieties ended up creating such a buzz that the chain has now decided to release it nationwide, and that special product is called the “Hotcake Soufflé Pudding“.

Originally limited for sale in West Japan, in and around Osaka Prefecture, we were thrilled to hear we could now get a taste of it at our local Family Mart here in Tokyo, so we went out and purchased one and took it home for a taste test.

▼ The Hotcake Soufflé Pudding costs 298 yen (US$2.58).

As the name suggests, this dessert looks just like a hotcake, but it’s actually a thick and fluffy soufflé that sits atop a “purin” (“pudding”), which is what crème caramel desserts are known as in Japan.

As soon as you lift the lid on this dessert, the visual effect is mouthwateringly good — the dollop of buttercream on top and the slightly browned surface of the soufflé makes you feel as if you’re about to bite into a hotcake.

When you do bite into it, though, you realise it tastes even better than it looks, as the buttercream has a slightly salty taste that pairs perfectly with the gentle sweetness of the light and airy soufflé. This sweetness is on point, hitting the right balance to create an addictive combination.

The soufflé is so soft that it melts in your mouth, and dipping your spoon a little further into the mix to pick up some purin as well makes for a sinfully decadent dessert experience.

The silky smooth texture of the pudding contrasts beautifully with the airy soufflé, and it’s not just the textures that complement each other, but the flavours as well, with the stronger notes of eggy custard and caramel mellowed out by the more subtle sweetness of the soufflé and buttercream.

Custard pudding, buttercream, caramel sauce, souffle…yes, they really do taste as delicious as they sound when rolling off the tongue, and we can truly understand why this dessert became such a sensation when it was first released.

It’s a fantastic twist on the soufflé pudding, and one we’ll definitely be heading out to try again. It just goes to show that Japanese convenience store sweets really are amazing, and worthy of all the love they get from fans around the world!

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