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.
I apologize that I have been absent for quite a while. I went back to Japan at the end of December for spending New Year’s Day with my family and also for meeting up with some friends whom I haven’t seen for many many years. I was hoping that I could make some sweets whilst I was staying in Japan but it was difficult to work in somebody else’ kitchen where you don’t have the right tools and materials you normally use. I ended up not making any sweets there. So here is my first sweet in 2019.
Raspberry & Cream in Meringue Style
Today is the 14th of February and as you can guess I created this sweet for Valentine’s Day! I have been thinking some possible designs for this occasion such as something with heart shape. But as that was a too obvious and well used idea I wanted to make something a little more subtle to express Love this year. I had one image in my mind. It was perfectly swirled soft pink meringues with a softly whipped cream sandwiched in between and I wanted to create this as Japanese sweet.
As Autumn gets gradually deepen I always feel like having strong Matcha Green Tea. It may be because it is quite a special season for many Japanese as it is the season of Autumn colour and that reminds us of a scenary in Kyoto, our old capital town that looks great in red and yellow fallen leaves.
Matcha is quite bitter tea so you have to have some sweet before sipping the tea. However, this Autumn I made sweet with Matcha powder instead of drinking Matcha Tea. I used plenty of Tea powdermixed in to a Mochi layer and I also dusted the outside of the sweet with lots of Matcha powder. My Mochi became so green and when you see the round shape covered with this beautiful green, it looks as if it is a stone covered with moss in a Japanese garden in Kyoto.
Cream Matcha Mochi
It is a sweet that has a soft Mochi layer wrapping up whipped fresh cream with Sweet Azuki Bean Paste inside. The outer Mochi layer itself is made with lots of Matcha powder but I finished it up with plenty of Matcha powder dusted around of the Mochi.
I picked a huge bowl full of Blackberries at the beginning of August and then I was daydreaming what I could make with them. It could be muffins, tart, cake and bread… I mainly used them for baking but there was one recipe for dessert that I wanted to try. It was a plain Frozen Yogurt. So I combined the recipe with my beautiful Blackberries in my mind and started making the dessert.
Blackberry Frozen Yogurt
I used a tub of Greek Yogurt flavoured and sweetened with honey. The original recipe I referenced had lots of sugar mixed in so I add just 2-3 Table spoon full of sugar on top. It was quite good and not too sweet and had some sourness from the Blackberries and yogurt too. If you prefer the sweetness for the chilled dessert which sold in a shop you can add some more sugar on this recipe.
Oh, it’s nice to have a little rain today. I know it is not as hot or humid as how Japan is at the moment, but it has been very hot here in London. It is also in the height of Wimbledon Season here and the British People’s minds are also heating up in cheering British male No.1 player Andy Murray and the female player Johanna Konta. Both of them just got through to the quarter-final yesterday. Hooray!
Anyway, where there is an event, there is also a famous food or drink, isn’t there? For instance if the event is RHS Flower show, it is a Pimms and if the event is Wimbledon, it is certainly ‘Strawberries and Cream’. It sounds so stylish but it is actually just some fresh strawberries serving with cream on top, but people love to have it in the court side or ‘Henman’s Hill’ whilst cheering for their favourite players.
So, as an homage to this Wimbledon season I wanted to arrange this traditional British dessert into some Japanese sweet, but how …. ?
Strawberries and Cream Cup
This is the outcome of all my thinking about ‘Strawberries and Cream’. It is made of a traditional Japanese Sweet called ‘Nerikiri’ and I shaped it into a very western looking sweet. I placed three small strawberries and some cream in a cup which is also made of Nerikiri pastry and of course you can eat the whole thing including this cup.