Topped with langue de chat cookie dough and then baked, this cream puff has promise, but is it enough?

Among Japanese cream puff fans, there are two different camps: those who like it crunchy on the outside, and those who like it soft and flakey. Our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi is one of the former; she loves a solid cream puff. She doesn’t hate soft cream puffs, but when eating them she just can’t help but think, “It’s too soft!!”

In fact, she’s been looking for the perfect cream puff that marries a delightfully crispy texture with a soft, luscious filling. That’s why she was pretty stoked when cream puff specialty shop Beard Papa came out with a limited-time-only cream puff flavor that surpasses their usual cookie-top cream puffs. Described as “a seasonal cream puff with a crunch,” it’s created to be like a langue de chat, a hard-baked cookie that is soft in the middle and crispy on the edges. In other words, the perfect cream puff style for Saya!

But what exactly would a langue de chat cream puff look like, you say? Like this!

Frankly…it wasn’t that pretty. It looked like lava that had overflowed from the center of a very lumpy rock and then cooled. But since it was actually baked with langue de chat cookie dough on top of it, it made sense it would come out this way.

Some of the cookie dough even dribbled down to the pan where it baked into hard bits, like tiny little bonus cookies on the bottom of choux. Though it wasn’t the most presentable cream puff Saya had ever eaten, she was not altogether displeased with this development. Who doesn’t love bonus cookies?!

The cream puff gave off a significant amount of resistance when cut with a knife. It did not cave in like other, softer cream puffs, and the crack it made as the knife broke through the cookie topping was immensely satisfying. Saya began to get excited.

The inside was also chock full of Beard Papa’s familiar custard cream.

Feeling her anticipation rising, Saya prepared to take her first bite. “How will it be? Good? Crunchy?!” she wondered as she lifted the pastry to her lips.


It was a good, solid texture! But…

The layer underneath the crunchy exterior was the usual soft, flaky, and fluffy crust of a cream puff, though that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It melded well with the crunchy cookie top, making the perfect fusion of cream puff and langue de chat cookie. Saya believed it was deliberately made so you can experience alternating sensations of firmness and softness as you eat it.

Unfortunately for Saya, however, the hard cookie parts weren’t the main event of this cream puff. Rather than calling it a hard cream puff, Saya would say it was a cream puff with hard parts. The cookie topping only served as an accent to the texture of the cream puff. For Saya, this was a slight drawback, because it did not quite meet her crunch expectations.

Nevertheless, the custard cream filling, flavored with vanilla beans, was sufficiently creamy and thick, enough to bring any person joy. And Saya did appreciate that the cream puff came with varying textures that made eating it more interesting. So, although the Langue de Chat Cream Puff did not quite satisfy Saya with its crunchiness, it was a perfectly delicious cream puff worthy of praise.

The Langue de Chat Cream Puff will be available until May 31, and then Beard Papa will undoubtedly release a new seasonal recipe. Meanwhile, Saya’s quest to find the perfect crunchy cream puff continues. Will she ever find it? We sorely hope so.

In the meantime, if you don’t care how crunchy your cream puffs are, Beard Papa also has a side store that exclusively sells cream puffs inspired by Japanese flavors, so if you find yourself in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo, you may want to check them out!

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