How was your Easter? It was very nice that we had great weather for this Bank Holiday weekend. About one week before Easter time six people gathered in a Tea shop in Soho London and my Workshop in April finished successfully. It’s great the daytime is becoming longer now and when we started the Workshop at 7pm the outside is still bright.
Wagashi Making Workshop (April/19)
This time all the participants had tasted my sweets before and we had two workshop repeaters amongst them.
Look how smiley everybody in the workshop is. Of course they looked very serious when they had to concentrate on making the shape of the sweet but quite often we all went in bursting a laughter! It was such a relaxed great atmosphere. It’s great to see everyone was enjoying the time being there.
Happy Easter, Everyone! There are many Easter related food and sweets but there is one thing I make every year, which is Hot Cross Buns. I like its spicy taste and the smell filling in the kitchen while you are baking. It is just heaven! I am trying to stop using animal products these days but I love Cream or Clotted Cream on that spicy buns.
This year, however, I decided to make something similar in shape but completely different. The sweet I made was not baked→steamed, not buns→Manju. Got it? I made a Japanese steamed sweet ‘Manju’ with a cross on top.
Steamed Cross Manju
Steamed Manju is good as it is, whether it is hot as just steamed or cold with a bowl of tea or coffee. However, because I made these Manju look like Cross Buns this time I also set it out like the teatime version on Easter.
This is ‘Clementine Daifuku’. Daifuku is a ‘Mochi’ type Japanese Sweet and usually filled with Sweet Bean Paste inside the Mochi outer layer. However, the combination of it with additional fruit is great and ‘Ichigo Daifuku’, the one with strawberry, is very tasty and hugely popular. I had seen someone was making Daifuku with tangerine and wanted to try making it myself.
I made some of these Japanese Sweets with Orange coloured Mochi outer layer and some with white one (natural Mochi colour). It was not that unusual if I left the white sweet as it was, but when I placed the green part on top it looked something so unknown. It made me think it could be a round white aubergine or … what? That was how the ‘Guess What this Sweet’ Quiz started in my previous post.
Here is a Japanese sweet ‘Two Petals’. It is a ‘Wagashi’ in the shape of two petals of Sakura Cherry blossom half covering each other. Sakura season seems to be coming to the end in Japan but blossom of some Cherry trees is still hanging on luckily in the UK, maybe because the weather is quite chilly these days.
The greatest thing about Sakura blossom is its colour. Particularly in a mild but bright spring sunlight it gives such a warmth into people’s mind. I wanted to create the gentle gradation on the petal from very light pink to almost white colour.
I made this. It is a sweet. It’s a kind of Japanese Sweet. Can you guess what it is?
Clue: Something juicy is hidden inside.
It will be a great dessert!
Any idea what kind of sweet it is?
I am so pleased that although the season started a little earlier this year Sakura Cherry blossom is still flowering well. I can see one Cherry tree in my garden in full bloom right at the moment. Some petals started falling down with a breeze but it is creating a beautiful ‘Fuzei’ (pleasantly aesthetic) moment to your mind too. On top of the privilege of enjoying the view of next door’s Cherry blossom, this tree also produces tasty cherry fruit. I hope it will be a great summer for cherries.
So we are in Cherry blossom time. As a Japanese sweet creator I have made several Sakura sweets this spring and this one is the first one I created.
I made this design for a Tea specialty shop in London.
Summertime has started in the UK. We lost one hour last sunday but we have longer daylight now. That is great!
When I was searching for a good design for ‘Wagashi’ Making Workshop in Springtime, this sweet was born. What I needed was something easy to make, visually pretty and also something represents this season well.
Spring Field – Full of Spring
I was imagining a vast field which was covered with lots of wild plants bursting out their flowers. In that kind of pretty field we surely have butterflies too. Yes, it’s true I might have topped it up with a little too many pieces. Maybe it’s not that suitable for a workshop but I believe that it certainly looks very spring-like.
Have a wonderful spring moment of yours!🌺🌸🌷🌼
Today is Mother’s Day in the UK as well as some countries like Nigeria, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man. Lots of flowers and sweets are displayed at the entrance of all the super markets as the suggestion of the gifts to mothers here in London now. OK, I got the idea! Flowers and sweets must be the best gifts for mothers, so I combined them together!
💐 Happy Mothere’s Day, Everyone! 💐
Now officially it is spring in the UK. Which means Sakura season has started. Sakura is a Japanese word for Cherry tree and also Cherry Blossom. People in Japan love Cherry blossoms and go crazy when this season starts or even before when the season comes nearer. I mentioned about our tradition in Sakura season three years ago on this blog so if you are interested about the custom please read my old post.
As well as our traditional Cherry Blossom viewing ‘Hanami’ we like to eat all sorts of food which is in flavour or shape of Sakura blossom. There are many ways to produce Sakura related sweets and I will try making several different types in this season.
Sakura sweet in Japanese Crêpe style (with recipe)
This is a baked type Sakura sweet in crêpe style.
Today, the 17th of March is St. Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick was the foremost patron saint of Ireland and his death on this date is traditionally a festival day for the Irish community.
The famous symbol of Ireland is a Shamrock so lots of people wear something green on them. I have seen places where people even coloured the river green for this day (which I’m a little against the idea). However, do you really know what a shamrock looks like? I made two types of Japanese sweets for this St. Patrick’s Day that look quite similar but slightly different. So, tell me which one you think is a Shamrock.