Adding the gourmet taste of caviar and truffle to one of Japan’s simplest desserts.

Japanese pudding, or purin, as it’s called here, is one of life’s great simple pleasures. You get a sweet and creamy custard base, a caramel sauce topping, and a smile on your face for as long as the flavor lingers on your taste buds.

But confectioner Maison de Purin, based in Hyogo Prefecture, is pushing the dessert envelope with some very unusual types of purin, and we’re trying a few out today.

Hyogo is a little far from our Tokyo offices for a snack run, but Maison de Purin offers its puddings via online orders too, and our box contained two types that we’d never even imagined before this: caviar purin and truffle purin.

They come in fancy containers suitable for such gourmet ingredients, and we decided to start with the caviar.

As soon as we opened the lid, the caviar was right there, sprinkled on a layer of white chocolates shaped like little lengths of macaroni.

Though it’s called the Caviar Purin, the white chocolate had the strongest presence for out taste tester Tasuku Egawa on his first bite. Underneath that front-end sweetness, though, the saltiness of the caviar is waiting, and there are also some tart notes from the base of sour cream that sits underneath the custard cream.

It’s much more complex than the comfort-sweets familiarity of ordinary purin, but the combination of tastes and textures (the caviar adds some stimulating grit) works surprisingly well. It’s an interesting, and unexpectedly viable, dessert, Tasuku says.

Next up, the Truffle Purin.

To clarify, when Maison de Purin says “truffle” they’re not talking about the round bite-size chocolates, but the fancy fungi used in haute cuisine. At first glance, the Truffle Purin looks pretty close to regular purin, since it’s a custard cream base with a black truffle caramel sauce on top. The color of the sauce does look a little darker than most purin’s, though.

▼ At 800 yen (US$5.70), the Truffle Caviar is 300 yen cheaper than the caviar.

But while it might not look so unique, it’s a different story when you take a bite. This isn’t just purin with a hint of truffle essence, Tasuku says, as the truffle flavor is extremely noticeable, and as he ate he even became aware of a truffle aroma to the sauce that he hadn’t immediately detected upon opening the lid.

All in all, both the caviar and truffle purin tasted better than Tasuku had imagined they would, especially the caviar one. At the same time, they’re both unique enough that they might not satisfy your craving for everyday, run-of-the-mill purin, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. If you’re looking for an entirely new purin experience, though, Maison de Purin can provide it, and both the caviar and truffle can be ordered through their online shop here.

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