This little pastry shop at Causeway Place in Causeway Bay has been open since the start of the year; long enough to earn a dedicated following despite its rather obscure location. Kougelhof, a Bundt-shaped cake popular in Austria, Germany and France - particularly in Alsace - isn’t very popular in Hong Kong. Kougelhof Dessert - the store - is just as easy to miss.
There are nine (colourful) flavours of kougelhof to choose from. They’re each served with cream in the centre, which isn’t the traditional way to serve the dessert but is an add-on by the owner of the store (who himself has lived a storied life. Ask a bit about his story, and he may share a nugget or two about pursuing new dreams past the age of 40!)
The actual kougelhofs are dense and moist. We prefer them without the cream, which makes them more filling than they need to be, although the cream itself isn’t sweet or cloying. The coffee kougelhof is flavourful, while the lemon edition is equally good, light and buttery.
Kougelhof also offers other treats, such as macarons and ginger pudding. The pudding is a revelation: milk custard with subtle yet distinctive notes of ginger, caramelised on top. It's the kind of dessert you would crave once in a while - simple, homey, well done.
The biscuits are also a surprise: the butter-flavoured one is light and airy, crumbling creamily in the mouth, while the dark chocolate biscuit is rich and not too sweet. The almond cookie, my personal favourite of the bunch, is more solid to the bite. There’s also a pistachio cookie, whose flavours come through distinctively, similarly to the green tea-sesame biscuit, with strong flavour notes complementing one another beautifully.
There are many dessert and pastry spots in town, so there’s little reason to go out of one’s way for a sweet treat. Kougelhof Dessert, though, for its hiddenness and size, then becomes a bit of a gem for those willing to make that extra journey.