Weekend Photo – Matcha Green

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Have a lovely weekend!

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Strawberry & Cream Mochi

It seems like when June comes (it means when summer comes to England) I always think about Strawberries & Cream. It may be because it is the month that Wimbledon Tennis Tournament is coming nearer which is famous for ‘Strawberries & Cream’. Last year I made ‘Strawberries & Cream Cup‘ as a Japanese sweet and I made another version of it for this June.

Strawberry & Cream Mochi

They might look like cupcakes but these are Mochi type ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweets. This is a Japanese Sweet that goes as close to a Western sweet as it can get. This time I received good revue from the people who tasted this sweet. They said that “it tastes exactly like Strawberries & Cream!”.

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Another Afternoon Tea in October

There were so many things I had experienced this year that I did not have a chance to post on my Blog. This post is one of them and I wanted to introduce it to you before this year ends.

In October one of my friends came to London to see me from Paris and I did not miss the chance to take her for an Afternoon Tea. The last time I had High Tea was spring time this year. I posted the experience on my Blog and received a recomendation ofΒ  another restaurant which serves good Afternoon Tea from one of the readers. So I booked a table there and went to have another experience with my friend.

Another Afternoon Tea in London

It is a Viennese Restaurant located in Aldwych of London. It has a quite rich atmosphere with very decorative walls and a European style setting. I had dined in this restaurant before but never been there for Tea time. We were taken to our table promptly and not long after ordering a pot of Earl Grey Tea the traditional three layered cake stand served at our table.

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Walking into the Queen’s Wood

When you fly to or from London, where I live, you can see many greenery area from the sky. Although it is the capital city of England, even apart from the famous parks in the central area there are many great woods in London. The further out you go towards suburb, the more woodland there are. There are several woods quite close to where I live as well and I went to one of them at the last weekend for a short walk.

Queens Wood1One of my favourite woods near my house is Queen’s Wood. According to the council’s website ‘Queen’s Wood is one of the boroughsΒ four Local Nature Reserves and one of four ancient woodland in Haringey. These woods are thought to be the direct descendants of the original “wildwood”, which covered most of Britain about five thousand years ago’. That sounds very impressive.

As it’s described as an ancient woodland as soon as you step your foot in the wood, most of the ground is covered thickly with tree canopies. They are all native trees such as English oak, beech, hornbeam, midland hawthorn, hazel, mountain ash, field maple, cherry and holly etc.

Queens Wood2

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Hina-Doll sweet for the Girl’s Day

It is the Girl’s Day ‘Hina-Matsuri’ today the 3rd of March. For a few weeks until this day in Japan we place a set of dolls called ‘Hina-Ningyo’ in a room and celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of girls.

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from Wikipedia (Hinamatsuri)

There are many different scales in Hina-Ningyo and some gorgeous one is composed of several shelves with a red cloth on top and each shelf is decorated with either some figures or ornaments. The most important part of this is the very top shelf where a male and a female figures are placed. They are the Emperor and the Empress.

There are several sweets that are traditionally only for this occasion. One of them is a diamond shaped sweet in tri-colours of pink, white and green called ‘Hishi-mochi’. Last year I created Hishi-moch with a type of Japanese sweet called ‘Ukishima’ but this year I made the Hina-dolls too.

Hina-Ningyo/Hina-Dolls the Sweet

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Raspberry Chocolate Heart on the Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming. Surely the sweet on the Day has to be Chocolate. According to me, if it is Chocolate sweet the flavour should be Raspberry.

So I made Japanese sweet iwith Chocolate and Raspberry flavour.

Raspberry Chocolate Heart, Wagashi

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I have to remind you that this is not a normal Chocolate sweet. It is still a Japanese sweet ‘Wagashi’ with Chocolate flavour. So the ingredients of the outer part is mainly White Beans with Chocolate Powder.

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Mochi Sweet Chestnut – The Taste of Autumn

Officially it is Autumn now. In the UK the clock has been set back to Winter Time so that morning starts in darkness and the Sun sets very early. The weather has been becoming more and more wet and miserable. On the contrary in Japan Autumn is described as for 1. Sport, 2. Appetite, 3. Arts, 4. Reading Books and then 5. Great Autumn Colour and more!

The reason that “Autumn is for Appetite” is simply because there are so many tasty food that become available during this season. They are Mushrooms (including super Mushroom ‘Matsutake‘), Fruits (such as ‘Kaki’ Persimmon), Sweet Potatoes, Ginkgo Nuts and so on …

However, the delicacy we enjoy the most of all is ‘Kuri’ – Sweet Chestnut. Everybody loves Sweet Chestnut in Japan. I have to say that it is almost like “Kuri = Autumn” for Japanese. We make lots of sweet with Kuri Chestnut and we cook even rice with it.

So inevitably I chose Sweet Chestnut as the material for the sweet of November.

Kuri – Mochi Sweet Chestnut

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My First Afternoon Tea Experience

I have been living in England for many years. During that time I have picked up several English customs such as having toast with Orange Marmalade and a MUG of Milk Tea for breakfast or Tea-time at 4:30 often with Earl Grey Tea. I also love Scones but it has to be with Clotted Cream and Raspberry Jam. However, I have never experienced having a set of Afternoon Tea in a Tea shop … until recently.

Last week I saw a friend of mine in Central London. We decided go to Patisserie Valerie for Afternoon Tea.

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