A resounding ‘안녕하세요!’ greets you the moment you enter the door. Despite the French name, Tous Les Jours makes sure to remind you that it has its roots in Asia– Korea no less, for ‘annyeonghaseyo’ is such a distinct greeting. Any Korean wave fans out there are probably familiar with this brand’s spokesperson: the one and only Kim Soo Hyun of ‘My Love From the Star‘ fame. Despite being a Kdrama fan I haven’t seen this super duper popular drama, but I’m not exempt from knowing who this guy is. 😉
Now as a fan of Asian cuisine and pastries however, Tous Les Jours isn’t such an unfamiliar brand to me. I’ve bought breads and cakes here on occasion, but very seldom at that. Frequenting pastry shops isn’t exactly a routine when you yourself like to bake. That doesn’t mean this pretty bakeshop has been erased from my radar though. In fact, I was extremely excited to be invited here for their Tous Les Jours Cake Decorating Experience; and after being told I was the very first blogger to get to do this, I felt very honoured too!
Tous Les Jours is a French-Asian Bakery, and this combination helps them serve up a unique selection of baked goods and beverages. It’s not actually hard to imagine anymore that a fusion between two very different countries with such distinct styles in food would click. These days especially, anything is possible. When it was created in 1996 by CJ Foodville Co., Ltd., they already had the vision of growing this brand at a global scale, which is why they even developed an extensive on-site production for each store just to ensure customers get only 100% freshly baked pastries and cakes.
Today, Tous Les Jours is a leading premium café bakery chain with over 1700 branches in different parts of the globe. Wow that’s a lot! In the Philippines right now, it has 15 branches in different parts of the metro, but by this month they will be adding 2 more stores at the SM Mall of Asia and Serendra. More branches mean more people will get to enjoy authentic baked goodies from Tous Les Jours!
Tous Les Jours is actually French for “everyday”, and it embodies the very philosophy the brand stands for: providing customers with fresh and best quality products daily. Using the finest ingredients and most sophisticated technology, Tous Les Jours is able to make sure the breads and cakes you get into your hands are the best and the most appetizing too. Stepping into their kitchen, I even got to witness and try for myself how they dress up their cakes from start to end!
As my chef-teacher was prepping for our cake decorating session, I got a little chance to walk around the store and survey their breads and pastries. You get an assortment of the typical puff pastry-based French breads like croissants and handpies, but then you find out those pastries are filled with sweet potatoes aside from the usual apple. Those doughnuts? Filled with red bean. It’s an interesting blend of east meets west indeed.
Of course they’ve also got some classic European breads, like the gorgeous Danish Pan Bread. As someone who likes to make breads in particular, I think this Danish Pan Bread is just beautiful. Look at all those flaky buttery layers! (Yup, ogling breads is one of my favourite pastimes.)
Or what about these large Cream Cheese Walnut Breads? The best part about this one is it’s absolutely shareable, so you can enjoy it with someone else over cups of coffee!
Below is their selection of Korean breads. Apart from the Dark Chocolate Bread on the right, I also spotted those classic Cinnamon Sugar doughnut twists that are quite popular in Korea. This picture reminds me of how much I really love the way Asian bakeries always make each bread so distinct that you can quickly tell which is which just by looking!
Many Asian bakeries specialize in chiffon-based cakes, so no wonder these Mini Chocolate Chiffon Cakes are labeled as must-try.
If you’re more in the mood for savoury than sweet, breads like the below Hungarian Sausage Roll might be more your thing. The sausages are wrapped in the signature Asian pillowy-soft bread.
And of course, no bakery that is based on French pastries will forget about macarons!
I don’t want to keep mentioning how much of a fan I am of baking in general, but whenever I’m in a bakeshop like Tous Les Jours– you know, the type that has sooo many pastries to choose from– I tend to spend my time just admiring each and every bread. I try to take note of what catches my attention and which breads I become curious about.
In case you bump into me in a Tous Les Jours store, you will probably see me looking around for a long time before finally grabbing some bread. That’s just normal practice for me. I enjoy the feeling of inspiration bakeries like Tous Les Jours give me! And I tend to feel even more inspired when I get glimpses of the chefs hard at work.
Of course inevitably I drift towards the cakes section. Despite my lack of a sweet tooth, I love cakes. Not eating them mind you, but making them! Again, it’s so inspiring to see all these beautiful cakes displayed as if vying for attention in a beauty pageant.
Here are some of the cakes that captured my eye, and you’ll probably notice that most of them involve chocolate in one way or another. I’m a big sucker for deep dark chocolate. (Nothing too sweet for me!) I was immediately drawn in by this Chocolate Forest Cake, with its shaved chocolate topping.
And what about this Dark Chocolate Mousse!? Oh my goodness. Just looking at that is making me hungry.
I thought this Round Mocha Crunch Cake really pretty. The best part is that semi-psychedelic circle pattern on the surface of the cake.
This Kiss Strawberry Heart Cake just screams love and Valentine’s. Not only is it red, it’s heart-shaped too. Very cute and 예쁘다!
Tous Les Jours also sell these do-it-yourself boxed mixes. My mother bought one for Korean doughnuts before but unfortunately the instructions are all in Korean, and my Hangul is pretty bad at this point so it’s hard to understand what’s written. I wish they would put some English instructions on these boxes!
Speaking of DIY, seeing these mixes reminded me about why I was actually here in Tous Les Jours in the first place, and that was to learn how to decorate one of their cakes! The Tous Les Jours Rose Inspiration Cream Cake is a part of their Fresh Cream Cakes collection. It’s a type of cake that has to be prepared right inside each store by trained pastry chefs, because the cream which encases the cake has to be absolutely fresh to taste its best.
The cake itself is made out of a tasty strawberry chiffon, with layers of fresh cream and bits of Korean strawberry in between. I have to say, the cake layers are the bomb you guys. It is absolutely delicious, especially when you get some of those chunky strawberry pieces! Especially for fans of the strawberry flavour, this cake will become your favourite! 😉
Chef Kelly was to be my instructor for the day, and she prepared naked cake layers for the both of us. First she was going to demonstrate to me the decoration process step by step, and then I had to copy her to the best of my abilities.
Despite baking regularly, I’ve never attempted an Asian cream-frosted cake before. I’ve been wanting to for a while but I’m super lazy haha! After this day I feel motivated to master this cake frosting technique, but when we were about to begin I was feeling very nervous. After all, the cake we were making is no joke. It’s quite possibly one of the prettiest and most elegant cakes they have in their lineup, and I was fairly terrified by the prospect of messing it up. Watching Chef Kelly make it was riveting though, and I’ve got it all captured in a video for you guys!
As you can see, the fresh cream frosting is really nice to work with. It’s not finicky and it holds a nice shape. I asked Chef Kelly what goes into the cream, and it’s a mix of fresh heavy cream and yoghurt, a bit of sugar, plus lemon essence for some tang.
She did that so expertly didn’t she? When she told me it was my turn I felt a little scared at first. The cream was surprisingly thick and heavy, and it took me a little while to get accustomed to the sensation of smoothing this particular frosting around the cake. Buttercreams are typically much softer. And while I was getting a handle on things, I was getting some help on the photographing end but my camera’s a little hard to get used to when you’re not familiar with it so some of the pictures are a bit blurry. 🙂
In any case, I did… okay, I guess. I had a lot of help from Chef Kelly as she kept an eye on my work and fixed up my mistakes. I was absolutely horrible at the steps involving that little panel of acetate, especially the part where I had to make some indentations on the sides of the cake to serve as “petals”. But in the end all the imperfections I created were covered up by that magic red powder, aka strawberry powder!
You see those little droplets of “water” on top of the rose? That’s sweet jelly drops, and I thought it was so clever to add that little decorative touch to the rose. Makes it look 10-times more realistic right?
And now we do the leaves, using matcha powder this time. I like how they don’t tint the frosting with food colouring and instead use powder to colour it up! All of the Fresh Cream Cakes are made this way actually.
As a finishing touch, we add some curled chocolate to represent the “thorns” of the rose.
Ta-dah! Chef Kelly’s impeccable handiwork is on the left, and as you can see mine looks pretty sloppy next to hers. And since I made this I can actually point out all the little mistakes I committed. 😛 I didn’t even stick the Tous Les Jours label on right hahaha! But boy does that strawberry powder really make my cake look sooo much better!
Chef Kelly was kind enough to personalize my cake for me by piping my name on a heart-shaped cookie! Ahhh this cake is so so so so cute! I almost didn’t want to cut into it, but it’s really nice to immortalize it in this photo. 🙂
I really want to give a HUGE shoutout to the Tous Les Jours team at Cubao for being so accommodating. (The Citron Tea is one of my new favourite citrus tea drinks now!) Special thanks to Ziffany who reached out to me for this lovely Cake Decorating Experience, and of course to Chef Kelly for teaching me how to do this. This was such a fun and enriching afternoon for me! I’ll practice this once I figure out how to make all the components. 😀
And let’s not forget to mention they gave me some really good stuff to take home with me! It’s filled with their bestsellers and a lot of the pastries I mentioned above.