Wagashi Workshop in London

Dear Wagashi Lovers,

Your long waiting is over! I am pleased to announce that the ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweets Making Workshop in London will be held next month. The theme of the workshop is “Autumn Colour” and we are going to make ‘Momiji’ Japanese maple, Ginkgo leaf and Chrysanthemum. All the sweets we will make are vegan and gluten free.


Although it will be held at our usual venue, the Havan Store, because of the concern regarding the pandemic, this time we’ll have two sessions of a smaller class with a limited number of participants.

Wagashi Making Workshop in Autumn

  • Date: the 13th November (Saturday)
  • Time: 11:30 – 13:00 / 14:45  – 16:15

The ticket sales have just started. For getting your seat could you please visit:

https://thehavan.com/product-category/event/

Hope to see you there.

It’s a Watermelon indeed!

In the previous post, I introduced my Mochi Watermelon. It’s a Mochi-type Japanese sweet which looks like a Watermelon on a tiny scale. So on this post, I’d like to show you what the inside of the sweet looks like.

The inside of Mochi Watermelon

So this is what the inside of the sweet looks like.

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Mochi Watermelon in London

I have been creating several Japanese sweets with summer fruits. They are mochi with nectarines, coconut & pineapple etc and the newest version are these ones in the photo. It’s Mochi Watermelon.

Mochi Watermelon

They are Mochi type sweets in the shape of Watermelons. The centre filling was made with plenty of watermelon juice so it is not just the shape that the sweet is like a watermelon, but the flavour is the real too. For the fruit seeds I added some black sesame seeds inside. I was a little sceptical for adding coarse ingredient into a smooth sweet, however, it was a big delight to find out the little crunch of sesame seeds gives a great texture in your mouth.

These sweets are Vegan and Gluten free.

These Mochi Watermelons are one of the Japanese sweets available for you at the Havan Store (262 Kensington High St, London) weekends now with pre-order. Another available sweets are Matcha Strawberry Mochi Daifuku and Coconut & Pineapple Mochi.

Wagashi Day in 2021

Two days ago it was Wagashi Day.

Wagashi Day started dating back to the year 848 when there was an outbreak of plague in Japan. On the 16th of June the Emperor made the offering of sixteen confectionery to a shinto shrine as the greater purification of bad luck. He prayed for the end of the epidemic and good health. Since then this day became Wagashi Day.

Instead of making offering, I have been using the day as an opportunity to introduce my creations. Although Wagashi day passed two days ago, I’m going to show you my sixteen sweets I created in the year 2020 and pray for the end of this pandemic and great health to you all! 😊💕

So, belated Happy Wagashi Day! 😊💕

Mochi Mont Blanc

When is the best season for having Mont Blanc sweets? It’s using chestnuts so I assume it must be Autumn. However, being a chestnut food lover there is no such thing as a bad time for having Mont Blanc for me.

Mochi Mont Blanc

So I created this Mochi version of Mont Blanc. On top of a soft mochi type sweet plenty of chestnut cream swirled up. It was a little hard to squeeze out chestnut paste and it does not look as I wanted. However, it is a hand/home-made sweets after all. If it tastes good, who cares.

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Beautiful Sakura Season

When I opened my blog for writing this new article I was so shocked to realize that it hasn’t been updated since the beginning of March. I know I haven’t posted much lately but there’s no excuse for nearly three months of absence. However, one thing I can tell you is that I have been creating sweets and there are lots of photos of them and half written articles in my folder. It was just because many things happened. We are at the end of May now and I have almost missed the opportunity to post about the beautiful Sakura season. Almost! We are still in springtime, right? So, it’s better late than never!

The beautiful season passed very quickly. I am talking about the Sakura Cherry blossom season of course. In a normal year cherry blossom flowers at the beginning of April. It’s the start of an academic year in Japan so all parents and children who are dressed up for the entrance ceremony to school take a photo with fully blossoming cherry trees. However, I heard that cherry blossom opened so early this year and it was actually the earliest flowering in 1200 years in Japan. It means that the parents and children could not have a memory shot in front of the beautiful sakura this year sadly.

Although it’s been so cold in the UK for 2-3 weeks now in May, we had wonderful weather at the beginning of April. It was good enough weather for viewing single-petal cherry blossoms which was also great timing when the strict lockdown was just eased a little. Lots of people were in the park but still socially distancing between each group.

Sakura sweets

For this springtime I made several cherry blossom sweets and the first ones are these. They might look similar to the one I made last spring but I introduced a little different technique.

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Hina Mochi

The 3rd of March, was Hina-matsuri the Girls’ Day in Japan. People celebrated the girls’ healthy growth by placing Hina-dolls and having some special food and drink on this day. The most famous meal for this day is Chirashi Sushi with clear soy sauce based soup with clams. Since it is the flowering season of Plum tree, the day is also called Momo-no-sekku which means Plum blossom day. In sweets wise we have Hishi-mochi, a diamond-shaped tri-coloured mochi in green, white and pink, and Hina-rice-crackers etc.

Hina-Mochi

I made a Mochi type sweet for this year’s Hina-matsuri. What I wanted to create was a mochi which reminds of Hishi-mochi sweet.

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Snowing but Nearly Spring

By following Storm-Darcy’s arrival to the UK very cold air has been sitting over London for a few days now. It snowed at the weekend and since then we still have some white cover left on ground even after two sunny days. It may seem like we are in the middle of winter but I know nature is preparing to be ready for spring.

Nearly Spring

I created this sweet with the image that a tiny plant sprouting out from white blanket of snow in my mind.

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Setsubun Sweets

Do you look forward to springtime? I can tell you that actually spring has just started according to the old lunisolar calendar. The period of the beginning of spring is called ‘Risshun’ in Japan and it’s between the 3rd – 18th February this year. I must say that Japanese are the nation who’d like to celebrate any seasonal occasions so of course we never miss the chance at this particular time of year, however, it’s not for the beginning of spring.

The one day before the beginning of spring is called ‘Setsubun’ (the 2nd /Feb this year). It’s not a national holiday, but rather significant day for most Japanese and there are a few customs we do on this day depending on the area. One of the customs widely done on this day is ‘Mame-maki’. It’s the getting rid of demons and bringing luck into the house ritual. Quite often one of the family members wears a demon face-mask and stands at the entrance of the house and other people throw roasted soybeans (peanuts in shell instead in some area) at him/her from inside the house by shouting ‘Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!’ which means ‘Demon’s (Oni 👹) out! Luck gets in!’. Another popular custom is eating a futomaki sushiroll with seven fillings called ‘Ehoumaki’ by facing to a certain direction (it’s west-south-west this year).

Ehoumaki Sushirolls & Mame-maki Sweets

I created miniature versions of Ehoumaki sushirolls (cut version) and Soybeans in wooden cup for Mamemaki with Japanese sweets.

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