Hooray! I can finally post ‘How to Make Tsubu-An’ here, so after this post I will be able to start making more Japanese Sweets and post on this blog.
As I mentioned before ‘An’ (or ’Anko’, they are same thing) is the main component of Japanese Sweets. It is normally a sweet paste made of beans. There are mainly three types of An (Anko) used for Japanese Sweets and they are ‘Tsubu-An’, ‘Koshi-An’ and ‘Shiro-An’.
- Tsubu-An ; Made of Azuki beans
- Koshi-An ; Made of Azuki beans, sieved and skins removed
- Shiro-An ; Made of white beans, skinned and sieved
‘Tsubu-An’ has Azuki bean’s skin left and not sieved so it’s got more of a coarse texture among all the other ‘Anko’. And maybe because of this coarseness it is tended to be used for more casual Sweets. It needs less procedure to make Tsubu-An but that is not the reason I make this type more often. I like Tsubu-An’s texture the most. It is very versatile. If you are interested in making Japanese Sweets, Tsubu-An making is the great place to start.
I had these plums. They were organic. I was looking forward to tasting them, but was disappointed … they did not have any sweetness. How is it possible that fruits are not sweet, I wonder. So I could not eat them fresh but I had to used them. I was going to bake a cake with them but how? … Umm, OK caramelised a bit before baking!’ That was what I was thinking.
I mentioned about Japanese Summer tradition in food – ‘Chilled Ramen’ before. There is another Must-Have in Summertime in Japan. That is ‘Kakigori‘ – the Shaved Ice!
It is the same as the Chilled Ramen, ‘Kakigori’ also has a traditional Flag to decorate at the entrance of restaurants letting people know that the shop serves it. Apparently the design of this flag has been more or less the same for more than 100 years. The red part in this flag is a Japanese Kanji character ‘氷- Kori‘ which means Ice. The blue part is obviously the sea that is the symbol for Summer and also there for making you feel Cool I believe. And the green part is two birds called ‘Chidori (Plovers)’. Whenever you see this sign you feel the summer is there and you want to have some shaved ice.
This sweet might look like a normal baked Western cake. But it’s not really because …
- this is a steamed cake
- it’s Dairy Free and also Free from Oil.
- Japanese substances are used as main ingredients so it’s ‘Japanese Cake’.
I like steamed cake. It has a much lighter texture than a baked cake. I haven’t eaten any Japanese sweets for a while so my body started craving for something with some ‘Anko’ in it. This is how this cake was born in my kitchen.
I like fruits. I love Mango. I normally eat it fresh with some yogurt or ice cream. But I wanted to make something a little bit more dessert-ish. So I combined everything Mango, Yogurt and Ice Cream.
I don’t have an Ice-cream machine and I don’t like any complicated process. I like simple food and this is very quick and easy recipe to have something very pleasant.