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.
August has ended. Before real autumn is coming …
Have a great Sunday!
How’s your summer been so far? (Sorry, it’s winter for the people who live on the Southern Hemisphere). Here in London we had a record breaking hot day in July which was followed by some rainy cold days and now some sunny but still quite chilly days as summer. I wonder whether the Indian summer will come this year.
I made some Japanese sweets in a summer flower design. This is one of them, Morning Glory. I think it’s the most summery flowers. It is the first plant that I have sown the seeds and looked after myself when I was a child.
I made this sweet because I received a private order. It is one of the best sweets for summertime.
Oh, No! How time flies! We are already in July. Time passes so fast and it’s so difficult for me to catch up! I made these Rose sweets a little while ago but could not post it here until now.
Anyway, there are a lot of ways to express a Rose flower in a Japanese sweet. I have made several sweets in the past including the Mochi Rose last year. The one here is using the same technique for making the Mochi Rose but I used ‘Nerikiri’ sweet instead of ‘Mochi’ this time.
Clematis is one of my favourite flowers. Last year I made a Clematis sweet with a ‘Mochi’ type sweet so this year I wanted to create it in a different way. I decided to make it with a ‘Nerikiri’ sweet. The Clematis flowers are normally from white to pink or purple colour which is the colour I like the most. However, I did not want to use any food colouring this time so I used Ube Purple sweet potato/yam to colour and flavour the sweet. I like purple blue Clematis flower so that helped too.
By using the same sweet material in two colours (and flavour) of white and purple I created these two types.
Choisya ternata is the shrub which flowers the earliest every spring in my garden. It gets numerous number of tiny white flowers which have marvellous orange blossom like scent. No wonder it’s called Mexican Orange Blossom as the common name. Every spring when I see and smell the flowers I wanted to make ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet of Choisya as the design, however, the timing of their flowering season is somehow always wrong for me and before I decided what kind of design I should make, the flowers were. This spring, I finally managed making one design before all the flowers’ disappeared, however, the problem this year was that I did not have time to write my article about the sweet until now.
So, this is the Choisya sweet I finally managed to make.
Here is a Japanese sweet ‘Two Petals’. It is a ‘Wagashi’ in the shape of two petals of Sakura Cherry blossom half covering each other. Sakura season seems to be coming to the end in Japan but blossom of some Cherry trees is still hanging on luckily in the UK, maybe because the weather is quite chilly these days.
The greatest thing about Sakura blossom is its colour. Particularly in a mild but bright spring sunlight it gives such a warmth into people’s mind. I wanted to create the gentle gradation on the petal from very light pink to almost white colour.
I am so pleased that although the season started a little earlier this year Sakura Cherry blossom is still flowering well. I can see one Cherry tree in my garden in full bloom right at the moment. Some petals started falling down with a breeze but it is creating a beautiful ‘Fuzei’ (pleasantly aesthetic) moment to your mind too. On top of the privilege of enjoying the view of next door’s Cherry blossom, this tree also produces tasty cherry fruit. I hope it will be a great summer for cherries.
So we are in Cherry blossom time. As a Japanese sweet creator I have made several Sakura sweets this spring and this one is the first one I created.
I made this design for a Tea specialty shop in London.
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!🌺🌸🌷🌼
Today is Mother’s Day in the UK as well as some countries like Nigeria, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man. Lots of flowers and sweets are displayed at the entrance of all the super markets as the suggestion of the gifts to mothers here in London now. OK, I got the idea! Flowers and sweets must be the best gifts for mothers, so I combined them together!
💐 Happy Mothere’s Day, Everyone! 💐