When Nestle first introduced its bakeable KitKat bars back in March, crowds in Japan lined up just for a first bite, and a minor media frenzy quickly accompanied the new product.
They're miniature KitKat bars you can bake — candy-crusted wafers that require a toaster oven to achieve the advertised consistency. While it sounds and looks gimmicky, the product worked viral-marketing wonders for Nestle. The bars became so popular that Japanese chefs started incorporating them in pizzas and selling those for the equivalent of $15 a pie. It was a hit, KitKat made a how-to video, and of course it started being pawned online for exorbitant prices. The only problem (well, at least for us) was that it was available only in Japan.
Not anymore. We've found them in Los Angeles. And they're pudding-flavored.
The bakeable KitKat bars can be purchased at Nijiya Market in Little Tokyo for $5.29 a pack (including tax), lined up right next to the green tea KitKat bars and other straight-from-Japan treats. In fact, when we walked in to make our purchase, the product was prominently on sale; there was an entire wall of them at the front of the market, largely ignored by the masses.
If people only knew.
The packaging is entirely in Japanese, save for a tiny sticker on the back that refers to it only as "Baked Chocolate Snack." Ingredients are: chocolate, wheat flour, vegetable oil, lactose, sugar, caramel powder, whole milk powder, cocoa powder, yeast, cacao mass, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, artificial flavor, baking soda, and — our favorite — "yeast food."
Unbaked, they look like white chocolate bars. (We don't recommend eating them uncooked, but we did give it a nibble for research's sake and it just tastes like, well, a white chocolate wafer.) It's also terribly sweet. After all, it contains a whopping 8 grams of sugar per serving.
Directions are entirely in Japanese, so we referenced the online video to guide us in our candy-baking adventure. "Bake for about two minutes without preheat," chef Yasumasa Takagi advises. "If you preheat, the chocolate will melt and the shape won't be as pretty."
The candy tasted like a sweet, chocolate biscuit. Sandwiched in the middle was the signature KitKat wafer, and the bottom of the bar had a nice, caramel sugar crust. It was good enough for seconds. Our first batch came out golden-brown and our second one, well, we burnt them. Note for KitKat candy bakers: Follow the two-minute guideline!
All in all, KitKat baking can be a fun pastime for easily amused folks. You can bake them in pizzas or serve them in ice cream sundaes. The variations are endless.
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The video ends with a disclaimer: "Please do not attempt to bake other KitKat products."