Oakland: Princess Bakery Gelatin Cakes
Last night I was at a birthday celebration in the East Bay, and the host served a beautifully decorated gelatin "cake". Multiple layers (each with a different flavor -- cream, expresso, chocolate, etc) in an exquisite heart shape with a bouquet of gelatin as the crowning piece (every blossom was well formed, distinct, separate, and held in place using embedded toothpicks). The flavors were whispered essences, bold enough to satisfy yet delicate enough to be paired with the gelatin.
This is the first time I've come across something like this, and I asked whether it was homemade. Their answer: Princess Bakery in Oakland, 13th or 14th near Chinatown.
Has anyone tried their gelatin "cakes"? Are they all like this? What other flavors do they have, and how expensive do they run?
I'm not a fan of cakes, but I know that the Princess Bakery is the default choice for librarians at the Oakland Public Library, Main branch (is that an oxymoron?), which is not far away. Librarians know their treats, s I suspect this place is really good. I walk past it almost every day, and there are always folks inside looking for their cake fix.
We ordered a gelatin cake for a birthday recently. Due to our request (specific type of fruit to be suspended in a layer of gelatin) the owner told us that they do not make the cakes at the bakery but is really made in San Jose and then delivered to Princess Bakery.She then gave us the number of the person who actually makes the gelatin and spoke to her directly.
Recently ordered some holiday grub from Cam Huong in downtown Oakland and found out that they make gelatin cakes there on site. Talked to the workers there and was told that recently started doing this and that the geatin cakes there cost less.
... and the Cam Huong gelatin cakes are totally tasteless ... you get what you pay for.
This sounded good, but is SO not my thing.
I stopped by Cam Huong and picked up a piece of 'mint' gelatin cake (aka agar-agar cake) $1.75.
The only thing minty about this was the color of the top two layers ... green ... with a bottom layer of purple.
This is Asian jello parfait ... crunchy jello parfait ... with no flavor ... sort of like the crunch of jellyfish.
There was a kind of crude red tulip out of gelatin on top with two green gelatin leaves. There was not one bit of flavor in the whole thing.
I also tried a egg tart from Cam Huang. It was more the Portuguese type ... small and sweet with a crunchy crust (45 cents).
Since it wasn't very pretty, I thought I'd check out Princess Bakery and see what they had ... NO intention of buying.
This is a really cool little bakery and their agar agar cakes are lovely. One had gelatin cala lilies on top. They were pretty like this example (not from Princess)
They had three flavors by the piece ... taro, coffee and mango. The mango had a top green layer, a white layer and bottom a mango-colored layer ... and flavor.
There was a sweet perfumy mango layer contrasting with the white passion fruit layer. Same type of red gelatin tulip on top but at least the green leaves were a different color from the top green layer ($2.25).
Still not my thing. That crunchy jello is just off-putting to me. The texture is too weird with too little flavor pay-off.
Here are some pictures of agar agar cakes and desserts I found on the web.
Princess seems like a really cool bakery. It reminds me of Sago. It has those loaves of soft white bread in plain flavor and others like cream cheese, dried pork, etc.
There are a lot of buns wrapped in cellophane buns. There are also whipped cream and sponge cakes. They had this delicious looking sponge cake. It was just two sheets of sponge cake with whipped cream mixed with fruit in the center.
I'll definately be back to Princess to check more out. Anyone have anything they like alot here?