Two weeks ago I hold a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop. It was at a Tea specialty shop in Soho London and the workshop was combined with a Japanese Tea tasting session. This time we had six participants and they were composed of two friends with a daughter, a couple and a French lady. They all had been to Japan or lived there before so everyone knew what we were going to create so I could start the class very smoothly.
Wagashi Making Workshop (03/2018)
These are the Wagashi sweets I planned to make together with the participants.
The workshop was at the beginning of spring so naturally the theme of the class was ‘Spring’. Since we were making Japanese food one of the sweets I wanted to create with them was ‘Sakura’ cherry blossom which represents Spring in Japan. The tea shop was setting a Spring theme for the month so the design of these sweets suited this well too. So we started making the Sakura sweet first.
The first thing they had to do was wrapping up the centre filling of Sweet Azuki (Red) Bean Paste with the outer layer of ‘Nerikiri’. It is not difficult but it’s a little tricky if you are not used to the material.
Then for creating the round sweet into the cherry blossom shape we used some tools.
After we finished making the Sakura sweet we moved onto the Japanese Tea Tasting session held by the manager of the Tea shop by trying out three types of Japanese tea. It is of course including Matcha green tea which is essential for having Wagashi sweets. The manager is amazingly knowledgeable in Tea and explained us how to make a tasty tea.
What you have to think about when you make tea is temperature of the water. Everybody was very keen on tasting tea and asked many questions so that my second sweet making was pushed behind the schedule. After having the lovely tea we moved back to the second round of my Japanese sweet making session.
The second sweet we were going to make on that night was in a Spring Field design. We started by wrapping up the filling centre with Nerikiri outer layer which was mixed with half white and half green. I wanted the participants to be creative so the rest of the design was left free to each person. They could use any coloured ingredients including the Matcha green one mixed by themselves to create a spring field design from their own imagination.
The youngest participant went so into it that she was designing her sweet until the last minute. I did not interrupt her work and shamefully I missed taking photos of her creation in the end! Anyway, here are the work of all the other participants.
Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and here is one very happy person who was tasting the sweet with Matcha tea!
Thank you all for participating in my Wagashi Making Workshop. Hope to see you soon in another session.🍡