I created something I have never made before. I received an order for a Birthday Cake by one very enthusiastic customer of my sweets when they were served at the Kimono shop in Notting Hill, London. There were two options for a Japanese sweet cake. One of them is a traditional Japanese sweet in a cake shape and the other one was a cake with a traditional but sponge-like Japanese sweet as a base with some Japanese decorations. Japanese sweets I often make are mainly made with beans, sugar and rice flour so that they are vegan. I could happily make the traditionally Japanese vegan sweet into a bigger cake shape, however, I have been thinking to try making a very western looking cake but actually a Japanese sweet.
Japanese Birthday Cake
I suggested the latter option to the client and she agreed with it, so here is the Japanese Birthday Cake I made for her.
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.
I named this sweet as ‘Strawberry WA-Shortcake’. the word ‘WA’ means ‘something Japanese’ so WA-Shortcake means a Shortcake in Japanese style.
It’s so spring here in London all of a sudden! Once the sun starts shining above our heads everything bursts out in the fiels and the garden. One of the plants that looks almost dead during the long miserable winter time but is the first to show signs of life in my garden is the Clematis. When the temperature becomes slightly higher, tiny green buds emerge from dead looking branches and then if you don’t care for it quickly enough all the leaves get tangled up and become a mess. However, if you look it after it well you gets a beautiful reward!
There are many different types of Clematis. Some flower in spring and some in autumn. Some get small flowers and some get huge ones. The one I love the most is the type with bluey purple flowers with a slight pinkish tinge and which come out at this season. The Clematis in my garden is quite similar to this one in this photo and will start flowering soon.
I created a Japanese sweet in a Clematis shape as the monthly sweet for May.
It is Mother’s Day in Japan (and the U.S).
Have a Happy Mother’s Day!!