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
- Matcha Ukishima Cake with Sweet Chestnut (Free from Gluten, Oil & Dairy)
- Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern (Free from Gluten, Egg, Oil & Dairy)
- Mochi Sweet Chestnut (Free from Gluten, Egg, Oil & Dairy)
- Japanese Maple (Free from Gluten, Egg, Dairy)
- Plaine Castella (Free from Oil & Dairy)
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.
Japanese Maple, Momiji
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.
Kuri – Mochi Sweet Chestnut
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.
Banana & Coconut Dairy-free Cake
I have tried using Coconut Oil for cooking before but this cake was my first attempt for making sweet with it.