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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Afternoon Tea in Canary Wharf

Last year I made a debut to a very British customs ‘Afternoon Tea’. The concept of it is similar to Cream Tea that I occasionally have, however, they are a little different. Basically Afternoon Tea is a mixture of lunch and tea time together which serves tea with some sandwiches and dessert. By knowing it is a traditional custom for upper class people, it is a little intimidating experience but it is becoming more popular among wider range of people these days.

I had another opportunity to try this high end custom (at a reasonable price) the other day. It was a farewell occasion with somebody who helped me out and is leaving the UK soon.

Afternoon Tea

To be honest it is quite difficult to choose the venue. Of course if you want to spend lots of money for the best experience there is no problem. The top quality afternoon tea costs over £100 per head. However, if you want to find a venue for a great experience but reasonably priced, you have to do a lot of research.

Afternoon Tea 13I finally booked a table in a hotel, but I was worried if it was not as good as I hoped it would be. However, once we arrived at the hotel I got a good feeling. Although the restaurant is located on the ground floor, we were led to the Executive Lounge which is on their 14th floor. There were some other people having tea already but tables were placed with some distance so our conversation was not disturbed at all.

We settled at the table and not waiting that long, our tea arrived, followed by a three tiered cake stand.

Afternoon Tea

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Kabuto – the Samurai Helmet

The month of May has just started. The biggest event in this month is on the 5th which is called ‘Kodomo-no-Hi’ the Children’s Day. It is the day we celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children and do some ceremonies or eat some special food on this day. I have introduced some of the traditions we do last year over two posts.

Kabuto 4Last year I made two sweets in this Kodomo-no-Hi theme. One is ‘Koinobori’ the Carp and the other one is ‘Shobu’ the Iris and I wanted to make something different this year.  I got an idea from some object we make with Origami. The photo on the right side is the thing  I used as the base design. I hope you can guess what it is.

It is a ‘Kabuto’ the Samurai Helmet made with Origami.

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‘Kabuto’ the Samurai Helmet

So for this year’s Children’s Day I made ‘Kabuto’ the Samurai Helmet in Origami style with Japanese sweet ‘Nerikiri’.

Kabuto2

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Yomogi Mochi

Winter in Japan is very cold and snowy but once Spring comes all the plants in the field and mountain start to grow rapidly. As you might know already Japanese like to add some seasonal touch into food and it can be a shape or some flavour added to create a taste of the delightful season.

Yomogi

Yomogi

One of the wild Plants we traditionally add into making Mochi is ‘Yomogi’ leaves. It is a type of Mugworts (Artemisia indica var. maximowiczii) and it used to grow anywhere by the road or field. The upper side of leaves is dark green and the lower side is white-ish colour covered with tiny hair like structure. When you mix the leaves into a sweet it gives a dark green colour but what we like the most about using this plant is the very distinctive slightly bitter flavour that it gives. When it’s added to sweet and combined with sweet bean paste the bitterness of the leaves enhances the sweetness of the bean taste and creates the harmony in flavour.

Yomogi Mochi

I created this Yomogi Mochi as one of the sweets for having during the ‘Hanami’ Cherry Blossom viewing occasion.

Yomogi Mochi4

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Easter Mochi Eggs & Cinnamon Nest

It’s Easter weekend. In some shops during this season you see many sweets in the Easter theme. They are mainly chocolate in either a rabbit bunny shape or eggs and chicks. I know it is an event for Christian people but I cannot help myself not to think of some Japanese sweet to make for this occasion.

I have made some chicks with Japanese sweet ‘Nerikiri’ before so this year I wanted to make something else. When I was making ‘Hanami-Dango’ (in my previous post) I got the idea of making eggs with the ‘Mochi’ sweet and also some other sweets to compose the nest to place eggs in …

Easter Mochi Eggs & Yatsuhashi Nest

So this is the Japanese sweet I thought for the Easter theme this year.

Easter eggs.2

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