Happy New Year, 2019!

New Year 2018 sq

Wish you all have Wonderful 2019!!

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Mochi Mont Blanc

Autumn is here! It is the season that some particular delicacies appear in food markets. Such delicacies are mushrooms, persimmon, nuts and so much more. Amongst all these foods in this season the one that stands out especially for Japanese people is definitely Sweet Chestnut. We love Chestnuts very much. We use them for making all sorts of sweets and even for savoury dishes. The most loved sweet with chestnuts in Japan is undoubtedly Mont Blanc which of course is a western cake with a soft sponge as the base and topped up with a swirl of sweet delicious chestnuts cream. Every Autumn when I find sweet chestnuts at a front of green groceries I have been thinking that I would arrange this nations favourite cake into a Japanese sweet ‘Wagashi’ someday.

Mochi Mont Blanc

So this year I finally managed to make my own Japanese sweet version of Mont Blanc. Instead of sponge I used soft sweet ‘Mochi’, rice cake, as the base. For making the delicious Chestnut flavour to stand out, I selected simple plain flavoured one.

Mochi Mont Blanc3

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Mochi 🍉Watermelon

After a few cool days the summer is back in London. ☀️☀️☀️💦 I wonder what makes people feel we are in summer. For me one of those things is Watermelons. When I see Watermelons laid down in front of groceries shops, I feel the season has arrived. Watermelons are one of the popular summer fruits in Japan and I have many childhood memories of it. Two years ago I made a Japanese sweet in Watermelon shape. It was made with the Japanese sweet ‘Nerikiri’.

This summer I made a Japanese sweet in a Watermelon shape again, however, this time I wanted to make it slight differently from the last one. I chose ‘Mochi’ as the material and that is because I see many Nerikiri Watermelons on Social Media but none in Mochi type so far. You see I like a challenge!

Mochi Watermelon 

So my Mochi type Watermelons were born.

Mochi Watermelon4

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Strawberry WA-Shortcake

One of the most popular cakes in Japan is definitely Strawberry Shortcake. Shortcake seems originally from the States and the Japanese version is of course very similar to it. It normally has two or three layers of whte sponges and decorated with whipped fresh cream and fresh strawberries between layers and on top, but when you eat it you can tell the difference. You will find that the sponge of Japanese version is amazingly soft and light. I tried to create our beloved cake as a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweet.

Strawberry WA-Shortcake

I named this sweet as ‘Strawberry WA-Shortcake’. the word ‘WA’ means ‘something Japanese’ so WA-Shortcake means a Shortcake in Japanese style.

Wa-shortcake7

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Orange Magic Cake

I had some organic Oranges so I wanted to use the whole of them including the skins. I decided to make my favourite Magic Cake with the Oranges. However, there was a problem. I had all the basic ingredients except for butter at home. Instead of going to the shop to buy some unsalted butter I wanted to try using Coconut Oil. Because the characteristic of Magic Cake is its custardy creamy base, I was a little anxious if the taste would come out as it should be. But I tried making it as an experiment anyway.

Orange Magic Cake

By my exeperiment the Magic Cake with Coconut Oil was just fine. It might have been better actually. It worked as a Magic Cake and tasted much lighter on my palate.

Magic Orange 2

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Soufflé Pancake with Redcurrant Sauce

It is Pancake Day today. To be honest I did not have any plan of making Pancake or even having any Pancake at all. But when I saw some beautiful and tasty looking Pancake photos on some people’s posts I could not resist making one.

I did not have any fresh fruits at home, however, I remembered that I had some frozen Redcurrant in my freezer. So my pancake making had begun …

Soufflé Pancake with Redcurrant Sauce

I used my recipe when I made a similar Soufflé Pancake two years ago. That time I used fresh Strawberries for making sauce. I also changed some ingredients so I am writing the new recipe with some changes below.

Souffle pancake1e

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Blackberry Magic Cake

As I mentioned in my previous post I was indulging myself in the baking with Blackberries. It is now too late to pick any Blackberries in London but I heard the Blackberry season has not even reached in Scotland and some area in the States are in the middle of the season right now. I am so jealous of the people who can still go picking since I did not have enough to make jam this year. Anyway, I made several cakes and desserts and I’d love to introduce the recipe of one of the best amongst them.

Blackberry Magic Cake

Blackberry Magic cake4p

It is the recipe that is based on my favourite Magic Cake which has three layers of Soufflé like top, moist cake in the middle and a custard cream like soft bottom. When I have plenty of Blackberries I always bake a custard tart with them so I know Magic Cake and Blackberries work perfectly as a combination, so what I had to do is just get going.

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My Beautiful Redcurrants!

Britain is in the best season in a year now. It is also the great season for soft fruits. About two weeks ago I was given a very beautiful surprising gift. It was a huge bowl-full of magnificent Redcurrants which was from a very grand garden of a good friend of mine.

Redcurrants

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The Wagashi Day

Do you know today, the 16th of June, is “the Wagashi Day”? ‘Wagashi’ means Japanese Sweet in general but how is this day connected with Japanese Sweet and what do people do this day?

The Wagashi Day and Sixteen Sweets

It started in the year of 848 in the Heian period when plague was spreading throughout Japan. With the hope that this disease would stop and everybody would live healthily and happily, the Emperor Ninmyō changed the era to Kashō and prayed to the God with an offering of sixteen Japanese sweets. It was on the 16th of June and the number of the sweet offering was associated with the date. Since then this day became the Wagashi Day and people ate Japanese sweets and wished a happy life. This custom carried on until the Edo period.

Sadly the custom diminished sometime later, but in 1979 Japan Wagashi Association reintroduced the Wagashi Day back into society by wishing that people would continue appreciating the magnificent Japanese sweet and carry on the beautiful food culture for future generations.

Although I have liked eating Japanese Sweet Wagashi since my childhood, it is not that long ago that I started making it myself. Since then I realised that Wagashi is such a versatile sweet which is made from very limited ingredients of just beans, rice powder and sugar basically. By wishing this world becomes a safe and wonderful place to everybody I re-introduce 16 sweets of mine that I made last year 2016.

Enjoy your Wagashi Day!  😀