This is one of the sweets I assorted for creating the Sweet Gift Box in an Autumn theme which I introduced on my previous post. It might look like a normal western cake but it is actually very Japanese sweet.
Just before Halloween I received an order for a gift box of Japanese Sweets. I was told that the gift was for a family with Japanese and also some non-Japanese people so that the client wanted me to make variety of sweets that could be enjoyed by everybody. I thought a lot to decide which sweets were most suitable and seasonal for this occasion.
These are the finalists for “Autumn Sweet Box Set”.
The selected sweets for this occasion in the photo (↑) from right to left
In case you cannot get a good view of them from the top these are the side shots of them which are much closer.
Day by day Autumn is setting in here in London. First thing which comes to my mind by thinking about Autumn is colour change in Leaves. It would defines as Autumn Colours so it should be the most significant part of this season. In Japan we have four completely different seasons. Warm & beautiful Spring with lots of Cherry blossom, very hot & humid Summer, very cold Winter with deep snow in some area and then … this Autumn. Our Autumn is very between summer and winter, but it is not just that. During the transition period between two totally different seasons a significant temperature change causes the beautiful Autumn Colour in leaves. The Nature is Science. It is amazing!
Japan is a very mountainous country and the sight of mountains in Autumn colour is so magnificent. It does not get defeated by the sight of marvellous view of Sakura, Cherry blossom in spring. We even have a word ‘Momiji-gari‘. ‘Momiji‘ is a Japanese word for Japanese Maple and ‘Gari/Kari‘ means Hunting. Well, we do not hunt/harvest Maple leaves literally but it means that we go out to the countryside to enjoy the amazing view of mountains which are covered in various colours in yellow to red.
The most famous plant with the leaves in Autumn colour is ‘Momiji‘, Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum). I thought it represents beautiful Autumn the most so I made my version of it as a sweet.
Yes, we call the plant ‘Momiji‘ not ‘Emoji‘. Please don’t be confused. 😀
Officially it is Autumn now. In the UK the clock has been set back to Winter Time so that morning starts in darkness and the Sun sets very early. The weather has been becoming more and more wet and miserable. On the contrary in Japan Autumn is described as for 1. Sport, 2. Appetite, 3. Arts, 4. Reading Books and then 5. Great Autumn Colour and more!
The reason that “Autumn is for Appetite” is simply because there are so many tasty food that become available during this season. They are Mushrooms (including super Mushroom ‘Matsutake‘), Fruits (such as ‘Kaki’ Persimmon), Sweet Potatoes, Ginkgo Nuts and so on …
However, the delicacy we enjoy the most of all is ‘Kuri’ – Sweet Chestnut. Everybody loves Sweet Chestnut in Japan. I have to say that it is almost like “Kuri = Autumn” for Japanese. We make lots of sweet with Kuri Chestnut and we cook even rice with it.
So inevitably I chose Sweet Chestnut as the material for the sweet of November.
It has been for quite a while since Coconut Oil became popular in the world. People say it is much healthier than any other vegetable oil or Butter. I was trying not to ride on this trend but just recently one pot of Coconut Oil has appeared on my kitchen shelf. So I have to start going into the usual mission of searching for healthy but tasty things.
I have tried using Coconut Oil for cooking before but this cake was my first attempt for making sweet with it.
I made two types of Japanese Sweets on the Halloween theme this year. One of them was ‘Mochi Ghost’ in my previous post and the other one was ‘Jack-O’-Lantern’.
These are my ‘Jack-O’-Lantern’.
It is getting colder now in the UK. However, before Winter is coming ‘Halloween is coming!’ I attempted making Japanese sweet last year in the Halloween theme. It was … OK but I was not satisfied. So this year I tried harder and these are the result.
I made two types of sweets for Halloween this year. First one is this Mochi Ghost 👻.
So I finalised the perfect recipe for making soft and moist ‘Dorayaki‘ Japanese Pancake. I am so proud of the taste and the texture with silky finish. We traditionally have it by sandwiching some Sweet Bean Paste such as Azuki ‘Tsubu-An‘ or White Bean ‘Shiro-An‘ Paste between two pieces. It is very recent that people started to put all sorts of cream and fruit instead. For me anything can be OK as long as the Pancake is tasty. I like trying any new flavour combination.
This time I went to a fusion of Japanese and the Western for my perfect Dorayaki. It was Matcha Custard Cream. I love Custard and this time I added a hint of Japanese ‘Matcha‘ Green Tea to this Western flavour. It is a versatile tasty cream to have with any sweet & dessert and it goes so well with Dorayaki’s soft and moist texture as well. How can you resist it by seeing the Matcha Custard Cream is oozing out from the Dorayaki?!
I made ‘Dorayaki‘ Japanese Pancake and posted here at the beginning of this year. Although it was good enough for me I was not convinced that it was the best I can make so I did not include the recipe to share it with people. I have tried making Dorayaki many times since then and now I think I have the best recipe which I can be proud of.
So here it is…
This recipe gives you a very soft and moist Pancake which is perfect for Dorayaki. Make one side smooth brown surface and the other side with a bouncy airy texture.
So I made this Matcha Soy Latte in exactly same way as my quite recent post: Iced Matcha Tea but just change Water into Soy Milk.
There are several grades in ‘Matcha‘ Green Tea sold in a shop. I normally use average grade of Matcha Tea for baking Cakes. That is because the delicate flavour of best Matcha Tea gets kind of lost during baking. However, for this Matcha Soy Latte because it is for drinking, tasting and admiring the intense Matcha flavour, I used higher grade Matcha Green Tea Powder.