It is so great that my ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop is becoming almost a monthly event. This time it was at a new venue that was in an interior shop with a beautifully setting located in a quiet courtyard in North London.
Wagashi Making Workshop (May/19)
I had five participants who were willing to join me for this workshop. They are three female and two male, two of which were Japanese. I was very pleased to have this wonderfully mixed group of people.
When you make a Japanese sweet in a flower shape or some decorative pattern ‘Nerikiri’ sweet is the most suitable material. It has a soft marzipan like texture and you can colour or flavour it into anything you like. On the other hand ‘Mochi’ type sweet is more for wrapping up a filling so it’s used for something like a ‘Daifuku’ kind of sweet.
That is why I wanted to try making a flower with Mochi type sweet. It was just a quick experiment so this is not meant to be a finalised precise work but as the spring season is coming I tried making a flower with a Mochi kind of sweet.
So this is the result of my little experiment. I don’t know whether it is clearly seen but it’s supposed to be a Tulip flower made with a Mochi type sweet. I had the image of a pure white colour Tulip with a big green leaf. I wanted to create it as a Japanese sweet.
The “Purple Shower”! This is what people call it. You find it on a pergola, trellis or just above a house porch or fence. You see hundreds of flower pendants in white to bluey purple hanging down during middle to early summer. It has a wonderful scent and attracts lots of bees. They are the flowers of Wisteria.
Although this flower is quite a traditional design as a Japanese sweet, this was my first time that I have tried making a Wisteria sweet. I tried several ways for making Wisteria sweet and these are the two of them. I used a technique called ‘See though’ which is basically two layers of sweet in different colours are placed on top of each other and the bottom colour comes out being viewed by removing some parts of the top layer.
Here is another sweet in the spring theme.
Have a wonderful Weekend!
It is a phenomenon to me that there are so many western people who likes ‘Mochi’ these days. Mochi is Rice Cake and usually we make it by pounding glutinous sweet rice. When I looked back at the time when I started making Japanese food and sweet to friends in England many years ago, everybody disliked Mochi. It could be to do with the gooey texture or quite blank taste I don’t know, but even when Mochi was hot or cold, sweet or savoury it didn’t go well. However, now so many people like it or even love Mochi!
I have introduced you Clementine Daifuku two weeks ago. It is a very good version of fruity ‘Mochi’ type sweet. Mochi goes well with Sweet Bean Paste and fresh Fruit. But the most known fruity Mochi sweet is this Strawberry Daifuku.
The Children’s Day has ended. It was the 5th of May in Japan. There are several traditions people do on that day including eating special food, particularly sweets. One of them is called ‘Kashiwa Mochi’. As you can guess from the name it is a ‘Mochi’ type of sweet and has some kind of central filling inside. The filling can be various but normally it is Sweet Azuki (Red) Bean Paste. The most characteristic feature of the sweet has come from its figure. It is wrapped up with an Oak leaf and ‘Kashiwa’ in its name means Oak in Japanese.
I saw many photos of Kashiwa Mochi on social media. I really wanted to eat it so I suddenly started making my own one on the Children’s Day. That is why I could not post this article in time. However, there was a problem. I didn’t have Oak leaves for wrapping the sweet…
This was the solution for having my own Kashiwa Mochi. I made a Leaf with Japanese sweet so the leaf is edible too.
This is one of the woodlands which is in walking distance from my house. It has a dense natural plantation with lots of insects and birds singing around. I appreciate the community that is looking after this wonderful space.
Have a great Weekend!