This is my Ghost sweet for this Halloween in 2018. I have been making Ghost shaped Japanese sweets for the last three years. I created this one as the example of one of the sweets that I was planning to make in the Wagashi, Japanese Sweet, Workshop with participants. However, we changed the theme for the event in the end and I did not have a chance to make this Ghost in the event. I liked how the shape and the charming face of this ghost came out, so I hope I can create it in another workshop maybe next year.
Happy Halloween 🎃
What is the most significant thing /character for Halloween? When you go shopping to a grocery shop or even your usual supermarket, you see many pumpkins piled up in a box. They are for carving into lanterns. I always think it is such a waste if they are just used as lanterns and not to be eaten. Once I was given a big orange pumpkin and I tried cook it instead of carving a scary face on the surface, but I failed, miserably. It was very watery, spongy and tasteless and how ever you cooked, it was unedible!
So my answer for the question I made at the beginning is Jack-O’-Lantern for me! It must be. You see pumpkins everywhere during this season. I made Jack-O’-Lantern Japanese sweet two years ago with Japanese sweet ‘Nerikiri’. It is a material which is very suitable to create a shape and pattern on the surface. This year I made it again, however, the material I used was ‘Mochi’. I wasn’t sure if I could make the detailed look of Jack-O’-Lantern with such a gooey and bumpy material but I tried it anyway.
For the last three years my monthly ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweets for October were all in the Halloween theme. For this year it has to be the same. I tried to think very hard this time and then decided to make … Dracula! The idea came to my mind quickly but it took a long time to come up with the design which would be easy enough to create. I finally decided to go for one design after trying so many possible models, however, as I started making it for real, the shape of some parts and the way to create them changed several times.
Dracula, Japanese Sweet
So here it is! The Star of this Halloween!!
I am going to hold another Wagashi Making Experience Workshop in London. It will be in October so the sweets I am planning to show how to make are mainly in a Halloween theme as the photo below.
Wagashi Making Workshop in London
on: the 18th of October (Thursday), 19:00 – 20:30
at : My Cup of Tea (5 Denman Place, London W1D 7AH)
As Autumn gets gradually deepen I always feel like having strong Matcha Green Tea. It may be because it is quite a special season for many Japanese as it is the season of Autumn colour and that reminds us of a scenary in Kyoto, our old capital town that looks great in red and yellow fallen leaves.
Matcha is quite bitter tea so you have to have some sweet before sipping the tea. However, this Autumn I made sweet with Matcha powder instead of drinking Matcha Tea. I used plenty of Tea powdermixed in to a Mochi layer and I also dusted the outside of the sweet with lots of Matcha powder. My Mochi became so green and when you see the round shape covered with this beautiful green, it looks as if it is a stone covered with moss in a Japanese garden in Kyoto.
Cream Matcha Mochi
It is a sweet that has a soft Mochi layer wrapping up whipped fresh cream with Sweet Azuki Bean Paste inside. The outer Mochi layer itself is made with lots of Matcha powder but I finished it up with plenty of Matcha powder dusted around of the Mochi.
When September starts, we are officially in Autumn. Autumn is described as a special season in many ways in Japan. ‘Autumn is for reading books’ ‘Autumn is for sports’ ‘Autumn is for appetite’ and ‘Autumn is for harvest’. Many fruits have been growing during summer and become ready to be picked this season. One of them and the most famous one in England are Apples.
For this month I made a Japanese sweet in a shape and flavour of Apples
The colour of real apples are quite various from dark red to green and yellow, but the most significant one must be a red one. So I made red apples with a tinge of yellow on the top.
Last week I passed a house which spread a tiny organic vegetable shop in front of their front garden. It seems they have an allotment and they a grow great quantity of vegetables. I’m sure they eat their own vegetables but I guess they sometimes get too much crop so that they sell what they couldn’t consume to public. All the vegetables looked healthy so I decided to take some mini tomatoes, courgettes, green & purple beans, a marrow and … these round things that caught my eyes. I thought they were apples first but they weren’t. Can you guess what they are?
I found a house with a fantastic hedge. Is this a shape of a Rhinoceros or Dinosaur?
Have a wonderful Sunday!!
In the UK it’s the Bank Holiday Weekend until today, so …
Have great week, Everyone!
During later summer there is one shrub that gets lovely bluey flowers in my garden. It is the Blue Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’). As I am not good at pruning the shrub lost its shape a little but after many years of neglect it still gives us beautiful flowers every summer.
There is another thing in nature that gives me huge pleasure during this season. That is the sight of the abundant crop of Blackberries in the fields. I went to pick some and by seeing its beautiful shiny crop I thought that I should use them for my sweets. The Blue Hibiscus flowers and deep reddish black colour of blackberries combined in my mind to be my next sweet design idea…
So that is how this creation was born. It is my Blue Hibiscus as the Japanese sweet for August.