The arrival of last week’s typhoon seemed a sign of the new season, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the capital’s dessert shops.

At confectionery store Juccheim, autumn animals are the star of the show, with a flying squirrel, hedgehog and owl all modeled in cake form. The most attractive is the owl-shaped cake called Fukuro no Fuyu Jitaku (Owl’s Preparation for Winter; ¥648 after tax).

The owl looks so charming that you may struggle to break into it. Everything is delicately designed, from the top of its pointed ears to the ends of its claws. Its upper half is covered by a not-too-sweet unbaked cheesecake mousse. Dig into its belly and you’ll find two layers of sponge cake with a layer of raspberry jam in between, providing a tart counterpoint to the mousse.

The cake strikes a good textural balance too. The owl stands upon a crunchy cookie base, which can be used to mop up the remains of the cake, or be broken up and sprinkled over the top.

With Respect for the Aged Day fast approaching, consider giving these fancy cakes to an elderly relative, or as a treat to children reluctant to spend a day in the company of their grandparents.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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