Jap Cake turns into a Macaroon Disaster

Today I was trying to re-create a delight from my childhood – “Japs”. These were sold in the local bakery when I was a kid and were almond (I think?) flavoured macaroons with a buttercream filling finished off with chocolate sprinkles around the edge. They were about 6cm tall and 7cm in diameter.

I searched the internet (as you do!) and found a few references to them, apparently they are often known as “Jap cakes” or “Japonaise cakes” and are still sold in Scotland and a few places around here in Yorkshire. I found a recipe that looked promising, but as you can see from the photo they turned out a bit of a disaster – they were supposed to be much higher!

I’ve never made macaroons before so maybe my technique wasn’t up to scratch. I may have to try making some “normal” macaroons first.

So if anyone out there has a recipe that works I’d love to hear from you.

4 Responses to “Jap Cake turns into a Macaroon Disaster”

  • Gregoire Says:

    Japonais were a classic confectionery when I was apprentice. They’re not quite like macaron, but similar. They’re a simple meringue with almond or hazelnut and traditionally filled with praline butter cream or dark chocolate ganache. I love them!

    I must have a good recipe somewhere but will need to dig into my papers! :)

  • Nic Says:

    I am contemplating making some cakes and remembered a lovely cake my mum used to make and everyone loved.

    A quick Google found your blog. I’ll get the recipe from here when I see her next.

    Her final cakes where individual so weren’t anywhere near as big as you recall although they looked similar to your picture at an early stage.

    They were 2 bites big, approximately 2″ is diameter and made up of 2 layers of the meringue with a coffee butter icing between. The edges were given a thin coating of the icing and rolled in the crumbed leftover meringue. The top edges were then piped to hold a blob of melted chocolate.

    • bobmoss Says:

      Hi Nic,

      Thanks for your comments. They sound exactly what I’m looking for, especially the coffee butter icing!

      If you could get hold of the recipe I would be eternally grateful!

      I’ve tried a few more times since my last blog but just can’t get the meringue as I remember them.


  • Nic Says:

    Well, here it is. It was printed in my mothers text book from the Yorkshire Training College of Housecraft from the 1940’s

    This was the basic recipe she followed with addition of a piped coffee icing edge, melted chocolate top with a roasted hazelnut.

    Recipe for Japanese Cakes:
    3 whites of egg
    6 oz ground almonds
    6 oz castor sugar
    few drops of almond essence
    1 oz of pink glace icing (for decoration)

    Butter Icing:
    2 oz butter
    4 oz icing sugar
    Coffee essence to flavour.

    Line Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper and brush with salad oil. (???)
    Beat the whites stiffly and fold in essence, almonds and sugar.
    Spread evenly in prepared tin.
    Place in moderate oven. When mixture is just set mark in rounds with a small plain cutter. Bake until golden brown and firm. Remove the rounds and put back trimmings to dry off slowly.
    Crush and sieve the trimmings.
    Sandwich 2 biscuits with butter icing. Spread sides and top and dip in the trimmings.
    Make small indentation on top and put a drop of glace icing.

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