Raindrop Cake, created by New Yorker Darren Wong, is as lovely to look at, as it is to devour. The cake, made with agar (a gelatin-like, algae derived ingredient), sugar and water, is meant to take on the flavors it accompanies. Like shave ice, or sticky rice, or pasta even.
The cake was recently profiled in a LA Weekly article highlighting Wong and his creative process. What stood out most prominently was Wong’s cooking background, or lack thereof. He has no formal culinary experience. Crafting and perfecting the Raindrop Cake happened late at night and on weekends, after Wong’s long days as a digital marketer. Friends served as on-site testers and when the texture, clarity, shape and, ultimately, taste were a hit, Wong expanded his circle.
First debuting at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, the Raindrop Cake has now making its way west mid June. Smorgasburg LA rolls out a weekly market this month and will feature the Raindrop Cake amongst other snacktastic treats. the cake can also be found at Japanese fondue restaurant, Yojie, in the heart of downtown LA.
Sometimes we find ourselves, like Wong, completely unqualified to innovate. Yet, we push forward, fall, get up, stumble a bit and, hopefully, move forward eventually. Making your dreams come true often takes endurance. I wonder how many tasteless gelatin bricks Wong created before finally getting it right. Probably a few (dozen). Personally, I love this story and will, happily, plunk down $8 to try clear cake with sugar cane syrup topping. Different is good. Different drives change. Different, in the case of Raindrop Cake, looks delicious.
Photo Credit: Tim Ireland/Raindrop Cake