Mochi Hydrangea

It is ‘Tsuyu’ Rainy season again, I mean in Japan. Instead, we are having a heat wave here in London right now. Actually it is the longest heat wave in June for 20 years. But back to talking about the rainy season in Japan. We get an announcement when the rainy season starts in each region, however, it is quite common that it stops raining after the declaration. This year seems to be the example of that year because I just checked today’s weather in Japan and saw ☀ for almost all the area.

Anyway, however the weather is, it is June and it is the begining of the rainy season and the symbol of the season is ‘Ajisai’ Hydrangea flower.

Mochi Hydrangea

Last year I designed a Japanese sweet Hydrandea by getting  inspiration from the flower of June. It was a ‘Nerikiri’ type of sweet. However, because ‘Mochi’ is very popular in London, I have been trying to think how I could make this flower in a Mochi type of sweet. I came up with an idea and here is the result.

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The Wagashi Day

Do you know today, the 16th of June, is “the Wagashi Day”? ‘Wagashi’ means Japanese Sweet in general but how is this day connected with Japanese Sweet and what do people do this day?

The Wagashi Day and Sixteen Sweets

It started in the year of 848 in the Heian period when plague was spreading throughout Japan. With the hope that this disease would stop and everybody would live healthily and happily, the Emperor Ninmyō changed the era to Kashō and prayed to the God with an offering of sixteen Japanese sweets. It was on the 16th of June and the number of the sweet offering was associated with the date. Since then this day became the Wagashi Day and people ate Japanese sweets and wished a happy life. This custom carried on until the Edo period.

Sadly the custom diminished sometime later, but in 1979 Japan Wagashi Association reintroduced the Wagashi Day back into society by wishing that people would continue appreciating the magnificent Japanese sweet and carry on the beautiful food culture for future generations.

Although I have liked eating Japanese Sweet Wagashi since my childhood, it is not that long ago that I started making it myself. Since then I realised that Wagashi is such a versatile sweet which is made from very limited ingredients of just beans, rice powder and sugar basically. By wishing this world becomes a safe and wonderful place to everybody I re-introduce 16 sweets of mine that I made last year 2016.

Enjoy your Wagashi Day!  😀

Sakura Mochi

In my garden, Lilac flowers have gone and the marvellous scent of Mock Orange (Philadelphus) flowers is filling up the atmosphere instead now. I know Sakura, Cherry blossom, season is over and I have to admit that I made this sweet a few weeks ago but did not have a chance to post here.

Sakura Mochi

It is a ‘Mochi’ type sweet with a hint or two of Sakura Cherry Blossom essence.

Sakura Mochi

So what is the Sakura essence that I added to this sweet?

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Apple & Rhubarb Coconut Crumble Cake (Dairy Free)

What would you make when you have only one stick of rhubarb in your refrigerator? Most of the time I cook rhubarb with some apples and dried fruits and make some compote to go with vanilla ice cream or plain yogurt, but one stick of rhubarb? Surely it is too small quantity to make a dessert. Rhubarb contains lots of moisture and that is why it is suitable to use for making compote. I thought it would be great if I could use the juice from it to moisten a cake.

In my mind rhubarb is also strongly connected with crumble, so I got the image that juicy rhubarb compote on top of a well baked cake with a cluster of crumble on the top too … So basically I decided making a cake with compote and crumble, with everything combined together 🎂

Apple & Rhubarb Coconut Crumble Cake

Apple & Rhubarb Crumble Cake4

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Mochi Dango

As a part of the story of ‘Hanami’ (Cherry Blossom viewing) I have introduced a sweet called ‘Hanami-Dango’ in April. It is a tri-coloured Mochi on a skewer which is a traditional and popular sweet in Japan. Yes, it is a tradition that Hanami-Dango is composed of three balls in green, white and pink colours. I also explained why it has to be in those colours and why in that order. However, It is my nature to try arranging things to create something different and Dango is no exception so I made un-traditional Dango.

Mochi Dango

This is Mochi Dango with two types of Mochi and toppings.

Mochi Dango

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