Happy Easter, Everyone! There are many Easter related food and sweets but there is one thing I make every year, which is Hot Cross Buns. I like its spicy taste and the smell filling in the kitchen while you are baking. It is just heaven! I am trying to stop using animal products these days but I love Cream or Clotted Cream on that spicy buns.
This year, however, I decided to make something similar in shape but completely different. The sweet I made was not baked→steamed, not buns→Manju. Got it? I made a Japanese steamed sweet ‘Manju’ with a cross on top.
Steamed Cross Manju
Steamed Manju is good as it is, whether it is hot as just steamed or cold with a bowl of tea or coffee. However, because I made these Manju look like Cross Buns this time I also set it out like the teatime version on Easter.
Summertime has started in the UK. We lost one hour last sunday but we have longer daylight now. That is great!
When I was searching for a good design for ‘Wagashi’ Making Workshop in Springtime, this sweet was born. What I needed was something easy to make, visually pretty and also something represents this season well.
Spring Field – Full of Spring
I was imagining a vast field which was covered with lots of wild plants bursting out their flowers. In that kind of pretty field we surely have butterflies too. Yes, it’s true I might have topped it up with a little too many pieces. Maybe it’s not that suitable for a workshop but I believe that it certainly looks very spring-like.
Have a wonderful spring moment of yours!🌺🌸🌷🌼
This post became a much delayed report but last month I had an opportunity to hold another ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop in London. This time it was at the very posh lovely Tea speciality shop My Cup of Tea which is located near Piccadilly Circus. Maybe because it was a weekday and also in the early evening we had two male enthusiasts amongst female participants. It is great to see many people from both gender getting to know about Japanese sweets culture and being interested in even making them.
Wagashi Making Workshop in London October 2018
The theme of the sweets we made in the Workshop was Flowers. I planned to make three sweets that are visually pretty but not too complicated to produce for beginners. After a short introduction the workshop commenced.
I thought it was just yesterday that I had introduced sixteen of Japanese sweets I had made in 2016. Today, the 16th of June, is another ‘Wagashi’ (Japanese Sweet) Day that people place sixteen sweets as an offering to the God and wish for good health and happiness. I am not going to explain about the custom this year so if you are interested to know about the Wagashi Day, please read my post last year.
Since the Wagashi Day in last year a lot of unfortunate sad incidents have happened in the world. I just really wish we will have a safer and happier world by the Wagashi Day next year.
These are the sixteen Japanese sweets out of all the sweets I made in year 2017.
Have a Happy 🍡 Wagashi Day!!
Last Sunday I had an opportunity to hold a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop. The venue of the event was Wasoukan, the Kimono shop located in Notting Hill, South West London. I had been thinking to do this kind of activity for many years and the chance had come to me at the end of May. Because it was decided so suddenly that I had only just a little more than one week to notify and gather people to attend. Despite the short notice, many people made enquiries, ending up with the right number of participants for the day.
My ‘Wagashi’ Making Workshop in London will be held this Sunday (the 10th June).
So far I received a great reaction from people but ONE seat is still available!
If anybody who reads this post would like to grab this opportunity to learn ‘How to Make Japanese Sweets in London’, please email the organizer, Wasoukan (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly. As time is running out …
Japanese Sweet Making Workshop in London
on: the 10th of June (Sunday), 10-12AM
at : Wasoukan (293 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2QA)
Hope to see you there on Sunday!😊
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
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.
Here’s the thing, I had some Purple Sweet Potato (Ube) and Soy Milk (made by me) at home. I wanted to use them and make something tasty for tea time. I started cooking Purple Sweet Potato into purée and then I came up with the image of soft purple cream oozing out of soft sponge when you put a fork into it … That was the moment I decided to make a ‘Purple Magic Cake with Soy Milk’.
You might be wondering ‘What is a Magic Cake?’ OK, I explain. A Magic Cake is a custardy moist spongy cake made with whipped Egg and quite large quantities of liquid. When you bake it comes out in three layers with a very light spongy top layer, soft and moist middle layer and creamy custardy base layer.
I have put a recipe of a type of Magic Cake almost a year ago on this Blog. That was ‘Sake Soufflé Quiche with Figs & Pine Nuts’ which I received the Second Award in the Sake Cooking Competition with that recipe last year.
My experiment went on ….
Purple Magic Cake with Sweet Potato & Soy Milk
This year we are having very mild winter in England. We hardly need to heat rooms during daytime and wear gloves outside. So it is very unlikely that we are going to have a White Christmas. Although it is not cold, in my mind “Winter = Snow” so another sweet I made in the Winter theme was this one.
It is made of ‘Mochi‘ Rice Cake type of sweet.