🎄 Merry Christmas! 🎄
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!
Just two days left until Christmas Day. The most significant plant/flower which associates with this festive season is definitely Poinsettia. Although we see the plant almost only at the end of a year in a tiny pot, Poinsettia grows huge sometimes taller than a house roof in its native warm country. I wonder who started using it as the Christmas decoration? I feel sorry for the plant being brought into our cold environment in the UK (and Japan too).
Anyway, this is my Poinsettia Japanese sweet for this year. I made a similar sweet last year, however, I changed the design slightly by using a different technique with a tool. I also added some Christmassy flavour to the centre filling. Can you guess what it is?
It’s Vegan and Gluten free.
This Poinsettia sweet is available at the Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, London). If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, you can find lots of great stuff that are perfect as a present and also tasting this sweet at the same shop tomorrow on the eve.😉💕
Can you tell what this is? Yes, it is a Satsuma but it is not the real Satsuma fruit. It’s a Japanese sweet I made into a shape of a Satsuma so it’s an illusion food. I have seen this kind of sweet somebody-else made and wanted to try making it myself for a little while. Now it is the season for Satsuma and this is my first attempt.
In Japan we call this kind of small citrus fruit Mikan’. I wasn’t sure what is the best name for this sweet, should it be tangerine or clementine? And then I remembered that there is another small citrus fruit called Satsuma. Satsuma is a Japanese word and it’s a southern part of Japan too. If a citrus fruit has got a Japanese related name, then why not use it?
This sweet is made of a type of Japanese sweet called ‘Nerikiri’. It is the same sweet that I normally make cherry blossoms or sunflowers but one thing a little different is that you can peel the outer layer. It looks pretty real, doesn’t it? I used the centre filling flavoured with orange juice so it looks like the real Satsuma fruit and tastes like one too.
This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.
Dear Wagashi Lovers in London!
There is something I’d like to announce with my great pleasure. Sakura Junction’s sweets have been back on the shelves! Since the Kimono shop which was serving my sweets for three years had sadly closed down a year ago, I was asked many times by the Wagashi lovers where they could get my sweets. Except on some occasions when I sell my sweets in a market stall, none were available to buy for the general public. However, now I can tell you that my sweets are back on shelves in London.
That is at The Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, W8 6ND London) which is an Ethical Lifestyle boutique they have just started serving my sweets at their Matcha Tea Bar from this month.
So the first ‘Wagashi’ sweets at their Matcha Bar is Japanese Maple that I have introduced in my previous post. In the shop you can have the sweet with their Matcha tea which has something significant about. I’ve had Matcha tea in several places but their one is very special and memorable. It’s very smooth which is almost cream-like. I took a Matcha enthusiast to this shop and she was so amazed and loved it.
The shop’s ethical theme is another thing that I like about this shop. You will find something unusual and interesting to you.
My Japanese Maple sweet (Vegan & Gluten Free) is available at the Havan store during November. Enjoy! 🍁
What I like about Japanese sweets is that they are so seasonal. The colour, design and ingredients are all reflecting the season. For instance in spring we create lots of Sakura Cherry blossom sweet and in November it is officially Autumn so we make sweets of Autumn colour.
‘Momiji’ Japanese Maple
One of the most famous plant leaves in Autumn colour is the Japanese Maple. It is called ‘Momiji’ in Japanese and is famous for its leaves having the beautiful shape with the most delicate cut and it changes the colour into a very vivid red colour amongst all Acer family.
Yaaay! I have finished the Halloween themed Wagashi Making Workshop in London. I always prepare enough material for going to any events just in case for any situation and some sweet bean paste left with me after the class. I wanted to use it creating something interesting. I was in the Halloween mode and wanted to make a playful design.
You might not be able to see well but the Monster is opening its mouth and the inside its mouth beyond its sharp fangs is orange.
I wanted to play with it more and made the mouth bloody too.
It is Vegan and Gluten free.
Have the enjoyable Halloween🎃, everyone!
My ‘Mochi’ making report continues. Recently I made Strawberry Mochi. It is one of my favourite Japanese sweet. Soft Mochi wrapped up the filling of sweet Adzuki (Red) bean paste with a fresh juicy strawberry. At the beginning of summer I made very similar sweet, actually almost identical, which I named Strawberry Daifuku. It was also a Mochi sweet with a fresh strawberry but filled with sweet white bean paste. The contrast of white paste and the strawberry’s red in colour was great. Both Adzuki bean paste and white bean paste goes very well with a strawberry and Mochi so when I make a strawberry Mochi I always have to think a little to decide which bean paste I should use.
Strawberry (Daifuku) Mochi
So this is the latest Strawberry Mochi with sweet Adzuki (Red) bean paste.
Whichever the sweet bean paste is, Strawberry Mochi tastes always heavenly great with a cup of tea!
In my previous post I set up a Mystery Sweet Quiz. It was a simple guessing game to answer what kind of flavour/ingredient this sweet has for the centre filling. Maybe because I posted it on a weekend, it did not get many people’s attention on my blog but I posted the same quiz on my Instagram, twitter and facebook too and several people joined to this game there. Thank you Guys!
(Hint 1) My first hint was this photo of the sweet. I also mentioned that the ingredient was something becoming quite popular in the UK.
The answer, ingredient, is getting really well known in London so I thought somebody would guess it easily, but nobody did.
(Hint 2) The outer look and colour of sweet is usually associated with the flavour of the central filling for my sweets
With this hint people could still not give me the right answer, however, some named quite unusual ingredients in a green colour that I would like to try using sometimes in my sweet making.
(Hint 3) The ingredient is not unusual in the UK anymore and you can find it in a super market, either cooked or frozen these days.
With this third hint one person got the answer quite right. But have you?
Zunda Cream Mochi
So, the answer is that this sweet is Zunda Mochi!
It’s another Mystery Sweet Quiz time for you!
Here is a Mochi type Japanese sweet I made this summer and I’d like to know ‘What do you think the flavour of this Mochi sweet is’.
It’s got a central filling which is made with some ingredient that is becoming quite popular in the UK (and maybe Western worldwide). It is not that unusual to see this ingredient being used as sweet in Japan, but it might be a little surprise for British people.
I look forward to hearing what you think.😉
Have a lovely weekend.