Fortune Mochies

It’s Chinese New Year today!

Fortune Mochies

For cerebrationg Chinese New Year I made Fortune Mochies! It’s in a shape of fortune cookie but the outer layer is made of Mochi sweet instead with a hint of cinnamon and filled with smooth sweet Azuki (red) bean paste.

Fortune mochi

– Mochi gives you happiness! –

Hope everyone bocomes happy in year 2020!😊

’Temari’ Ball

Around the New Year’s Day period I feel like I am more Japanese than any other time of a year. It must be because New Year is traditionally such a big event for Japanese and we have three days national holiday in Japan. As my New Year card I used the photo of ‘Kagami Mochi’ sweet this year. Kagami Mochi, two pieces of round Mochi placed on top of each other and decorated with a citrus with a leaf called ‘Daidai’, seemed to be a very spiritually Japanese thing for me. My spirit has been still in traditionally Japanese mode all through January and my second sweet of the year 2020 is this ‘Temari’ Ball.

 

‘Temari’ Ball

temari_top

Handcrafted Art ‘Temari’ Balls

‘Temari’ is a Traditional Japanese handcrafted ball which is made with cloth and embroidery. The materials and pattern provide a very Japanese quality. I made a sweet which is supposed to look like a Temari. Instead of creating a pattern of embroidery I tried to produce the Japanese-ish image with the colour combination.

Temari2-3

I made two types of Temari sweet in a different colour combination, one with pink and purple and the other one with green and orange-yellow, and placed a tiny golden ball on top.

The darkest colour of each type is coloured with food. The purple with Ube, purple sweet potato, and green with ‘Match’ Green tea. Both types have a ‘Koshi-An’ Azuki Red bean paste as the centre filling so you can enjoy the taste combination of “Purple sweet potato x sweet Bean paste” and “Matcha x sweet Bean paste”, I assure you that both go so well.

This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.

The 1st Workshop of the Year 2020

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/New Year Holiday. After a long great rest I am sure people are ready for the new challenge in this brand new year 2020. I have prepared the Wagashi Making Workshop in the early spring theme for you.

 

Wagashi Making Workshop in January

This will be the first Wagashi Workshop this year so the theme is early spring. I thought several ideas and chose these three designs for this workshop which include a Snow Rabbit and ‘Ume’ plum flower in two ways.

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on: the 26th / January (Sunday), 13:00 – 15:00 
at: The Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, London W8 6ND)

As the name says a Snow Rabbit is supposed to be snow made into a rabbit shape. It is a traditional children’s custom in a snowy area in Japan. The ears are normally made with two long leaves so that the snow rabbit we are going to make is also having green ears.

The Plum flower is a symbol of New Year. It is almost the first flower to appear in a garden when the weather is still severe so it’s thought to be something delightful and brings happiness.

One of the plum designs we will create is a flower by using a traditional technique. You will learn how to use the wooden tool and your hand to make the sweet into a lovely flower shape. In the second plum flower design I want to show the image of plum blossoms opening on branches in early spring. I am planning to set this one as the free designing sweet and hope I will see lots of different looking sweets designed by creative participants.

The sweets we will make are all Vegan and Gluten free.

[The tickets] for this workshop are available now from here (←click here to the Link). The class is limited to 9 people only so don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Wagashi Workshop in December

Since December has begun it seems like my time has been passing so quickly. We had Christmas already and now we have only one day left before New Year’s Eve. I had a Wagashi Making Workshop in December and that was already about a month ago.

On one Sunday afternoon people gathered in the cosy basement space of the Havan Store for making the Christmas themed Wagashi together. The participants were consisted of four groups which were two friends groups, two sisters and one individual person. The youngest attendee this time was one of the sisters who was 12 years old girl and who’d wanted to join us in our previous Halloween themed workshop but couldn’t. So it was my great pleasure that we had her for this session as one of attendees.

One of the friends groups of three girls came to our event as the birthday celebration of one of the girls’. The birthday girl seemed to be a big Japanese culture lover and it was a brilliant way to spend a day together with her and I felt privileged that they chose my workshop for this memorable occasion.

Wagashi Making Workshop in the Christmas Theme

Chris adI chose three designs for this workshop. They were a Snowman, a Christmas Pudding and a Christmas Tree. I always enjoy seeing that participans get creative and make the sweets in their own way so I normally keep my examples quite simple and leave some space that attendees can develop by themselves. After deciding these three sweets there was a litle doubt in my mind that there might not be enough room to show their creativity, however, I was very wrong. All of the participants used all the materials cleverly and created something remarkable in the end.

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Poinsettia

Just two days left until Christmas Day.Β  The most significant plant/flower which associates with this festive season is definitely Poinsettia. Although we see the plant almost only at the end of a year in a tiny pot, Poinsettia grows huge sometimes taller than a house roof in its native warm country.Β  I wonder who started using it as the Christmas decoration? I feel sorry for the plant being brought into our cold environment in the UK (and Japan too).

Poinsettia 1

Anyway, this is my Poinsettia Japanese sweet for this year. I made a similar sweet last year, however, I changed the design slightly by using a different technique with a tool. I also added some Christmassy flavour to the centre filling. Can you guess what it is?

It’s Vegan and Gluten free.

This Poinsettia sweet is available at the Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, London). If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, you can find lots of great stuff that are perfect as a present and also tasting this sweet at the same shop tomorrow on the eve.πŸ˜‰πŸ’•

Satsuma ‘Mikan’

Can you tell what this is? Yes, it is a Satsuma but it is not the real Satsuma fruit. It’s a Japanese sweet I made into a shape of a Satsuma so it’s an illusion food. I have seen this kind of sweet somebody-else made and wanted to try making it myself for a little while. Now it is the season for Satsuma and this is my first attempt.

Satsuma ‘Mikan’

In Japan we call this kind of small citrus fruit Mikan’. I wasn’t sure what is the best name for this sweet, should it be tangerine or clementine? And then I remembered that there is another small citrus fruit called Satsuma. Satsuma is a Japanese word and it’s a southern part of Japan too. If a citrus fruit has got a Japanese related name, then why not use it?

Satsuma

This sweet is made of a type of Japanese sweet called ‘Nerikiri’. It is the same sweet that I normally make cherry blossoms or sunflowers but one thing a little different is that you can peel the outer layer. It looks pretty real, doesn’t it? I used the centre filling flavoured with orange juice so it looks like the real Satsuma fruit and tastes like one too.

This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.