April 20, 2019
by Saki Hiorta & Mai Taniguchi
Malebranche is a famous Japanese Western-style confectionery shop in Kyoto. Malebranche was originally built in 1982. The main store is on Kitayama Street, in the north part of Kyoto. The name ‘Malebranche’ comes from Nikolas Malebranche, a well-known French philosopher from the 17th century. In general, this shop is best known for its delicious Mont Blanc cake.
Malebranche offers its customers many delicious and wonderful products, many of which are various kinds of baked confectionery, such as:
- Cha no Ka Langue de Chat Cookies
- Green Tea Confectionaries
- Mont Blanc Baked Confectioneries
- Mont Blanc Baked Cakes
- Kyoto-style Sable Cookies
CHA no KA
Cha no ka is a type of langue de chat style cookie in which strong green tea is used. It is made by a Malebranche team that takes great care when selecting tea leaves used in the manufacturing process. They call the method ‘Kyoto Quality’, and they use carefully selected tea from the Uji region of south Kyoto, famous for its green tea. First, its producers grow the tea leaves, and the Malebranche team goes straight to the farmers to buy the best tea. Second, to make strong matcha (powdered green tea) from the tea leaves they selected. When making matcha, much depends on the weather and a number of other conditions. They have found special method for that. Third, they strive to make Cha no ka with a clearness of color, a depth of taste and a great flavor combining matcha and white chocolate with a sincere heart and refined method. Finally, they wrap each individual cookie immediately to keep freshness and special design. Only then is the Cha no ka ready to be sold to customers.
Green Tea Confectionaries
Malebranche specializes in using green tea to make many of their products. These products are kept cold, like Fondant Chocolat and chocolate cake, as it is perishable. Therefore, it must be eaten soon after buying it. Malebranche staff visits tea plantations on a regular basis to select and purchase tea leaves for their products. This product is made with a lot of dark tea from Uji, a famous tea-growing region in the south part of Kyoto. It is also popular product.
Mont Blanc Baked Confectioneries
This product’s name is Malon de Male. These confectionaries have the flavor of chestnut and the smell of rum. Mont Blanc has a strong image of being a cake, but these are in fact baked confectionaries, which are original creations of Malebranche.
Mont Blanc Baked Cakes
This kind of baked and confectioneries can only be purchased at the main Malebranche shop on Kitayama Street. It recommended as a gift or souvenir, as it is carry to easy.
Kyoto-style Sable Cookies
Malebranche also makes and sells Kyoto-style sable cookies in five different varieties: milk chocolate and matcha, plain sugar, strawberry and white chocolate, chestnut and milk chocolate (autumn season only), and pumpkin and white chocolate (autumn season only). We can enjoy choosing and tasting these many flavors. They express the season of Kyoto with important smells and flavor. Malebranche delivers season-by-season the face of Kyoto.
Seasonal Events and Products
Visiting many Malebranche Spring is the name of an event that happens in the Spring. Customers can collect a series of stamps at various Malebrance shops. They must visit at least three of sixteen stores in Kyoto and Shiga. Then, if they buy products of over 500 yen in each one, they can get one stamp for each store. If they collect three stamps, they can receive a present of something sweet, like a special cheese cake or cheese ball, or some baked cheese sweets.
Ryo Cha no Ka
This is the summer version of Cha no Ka. The original Cha no Ka is made with chocolate, which too easily melts in the summer heat, so Ryo Cha no Ka has chocolate blended into other ingredients and baked until it becomes crispy. It will not melt, so it is perfect for the hot summer months.
In the autumn, Malebranche uses chestnuts and sweet potatoes to make some unique fall confections. Chestnut and sweet potato are mixed with butter, which creates a very smooth cake in which you can taste most of the original taste of the ingredients. It’s delicious.
At Christmas time, you can buy Jingle Bells Chocolate at Malebranche. It is a caramel chocolate cake. It made of chocolate-flavored sponge cake with caramel cream and chocolate chips, and there are strawberries, caramel cream, and chocolate on the top of the cake. This cake is made for both kids and adults, so it is good for a family.
Another Christmas time product from Malebranche is the Hex House. It a little house made of six kinds of sweets. Its contents are the matcha fir tree tart, the crescent moon mango shortcake, the strawberry tart, the Buche de Noel, the snowman cheese tart, and the witch hat chocolate tart. It very cute and filled with dreams of children and adults with a child’s heart. It is a little expensive, but very much worth buying. There are many other beautiful and delicious products to purchase at Christmas time. However, the numbers are limited, so you should act quickly to reserve your own from the Malebranche website.
Malebranche products are perfect as representative souvenirs of Kyoto or Japan. All these products are made with great care and are delicious. Not only does the store have high quality sweets that taste great, but also has product events that provide visual pleasure to customers. There are over 20 store branches in places other than Kyoto. So, you can visit many places and you can try these products.
The main shop is located on near Kitayama Station on the Karasuma subway line. It is across from the north entrance to the Kyoto Botanical Gardens. Visit their website for more information: Malebranche Kyoto