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
I 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.
Happy Boxing Day!
It wasn’t a White Christmas in London this year but here you’re, you can have one! This is a Japanese sweet ‘White Christmas’.
It’s Vegan & Glute free.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!
Just two days left until Christmas Day. 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. 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).
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.😉💕
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.
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?
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.
When the last month of the year arrives, I always become much busier than any other season. It’s because December is the month for the Christmas Market. I have been getting a stall in a local Market since 2012, but this year I had a chance to join to other stall holders in another Japanese Market at the end of November.
Dear Wagashi Lovers in London!
There is something I’d like to announce with my great pleasure. Sakura Junction’s sweets have been back on the shelves! Since the Kimono shop which was serving my sweets for three years had sadly closed down a year ago, I was asked many times by the Wagashi lovers where they could get my sweets. Except on some occasions when I sell my sweets in a market stall, none were available to buy for the general public. However, now I can tell you that my sweets are back on shelves in London.
That is at The Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, W8 6ND London) which is an Ethical Lifestyle boutique they have just started serving my sweets at their Matcha Tea Bar from this month.
So the first ‘Wagashi’ sweets at their Matcha Bar is Japanese Maple that I have introduced in my previous post. In the shop you can have the sweet with their Matcha tea which has something significant about. I’ve had Matcha tea in several places but their one is very special and memorable. It’s very smooth which is almost cream-like. I took a Matcha enthusiast to this shop and she was so amazed and loved it.
The shop’s ethical theme is another thing that I like about this shop. You will find something unusual and interesting to you.
My Japanese Maple sweet (Vegan & Gluten Free) is available at the Havan store during November. Enjoy! 🍁
How time flies! Right after posting the report of the Halloween themed Workshop it is already time to announce the workshop for December. Since it will be in December the theme of the workshop is Christmas, I’ve been considering what kind of Japanese sweets I should make with the participants?
I always take a lot of time to decide the sweet designs to make with workshop attendees. I consider many elements such as if the design is seasonal, and if is too simple or too difficult for first time attendees.
Wagashi Making Workshop in December
Before finalising the three sweets, I tried several designs. I wanted to make a Christmas Tree. I have made several types of Tree in the past but never made one in the workshop yet. When I was thinking about the possibilities, I suddenly got a brilliant idea. I was very excited and was confident that it would go well, but when I tried making it, it was far too difficult to create the shape.
on: the 1st / December (Sunday), 13:00 – 15:00
at: The Havan (262 Kensington High Street, London W8 6ND)
So we will make these three sweets. If the attendees would want to go more creative they can decorate the tree with any shapes such as an angel, Christmas sock, candle or present boxes.
The sweets we will make are all Vegan and Gluten free.
We continue having the Havan Store as the venue since it is a very beautiful and comfortable space with very hospitable owners who are interested in Japanese culture. I was pleased to see that all the participants in the previous workshop loved the shop and their thick and creamy special Matcha green tea.
[The tickets] for this workshop are available now from here (←click here to the Link). The class is limited to 10 people only so don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
I have mentioned about the 13 years old girl who wanted to join us for the Halloween workshop. I am very happy to tell you that she is joining us with her mother for this Christmas one. It is going to be another great one! If you would like to join us, small number of seats still available.
What I like about Japanese sweets is that they are so seasonal. The colour, design and ingredients are all reflecting the season. For instance in spring we create lots of Sakura Cherry blossom sweet and in November it is officially Autumn so we make sweets of Autumn colour.
‘Momiji’ Japanese Maple
One of the most famous plant leaves in Autumn colour is the Japanese Maple. It is called ‘Momiji’ in Japanese and is famous for its leaves having the beautiful shape with the most delicate cut and it changes the colour into a very vivid red colour amongst all Acer family.