Plum Flower Mochi

It is a little early for expecting ‘Sakura’ cherry blossom but you can see pretty ‘Ume’ Plum flowers in Japan. The flower looks quite similar to cherry blossom but much tinier and with a intoxicating sweet scent. The petal comes from white to dark pink and quite often you can find flowers in different colours on the same tree.

‘Ume’ Plum Flower Mochi

So I made Plum Flower Mochi as one of my January sweets.

Plum 1

It’s got a soft gooey Mochi type sweet as the outer layer that is made into a shape of a plum flower. The sweet white bean paste filling is placed inside as well as homemade plum jam.

Plum 2

This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.

This sweet was served at a Matcha Bar at the Havan Store during January (sorry to post this information too late) and I am very pleased to hear that it has received a great feedback. I am preparing different sweets for February now so please stay tuned!

’Temari’ Ball

Around the New Year’s Day period I feel like I am more Japanese than any other time of a year. It must be because New Year is traditionally such a big event for Japanese and we have three days national holiday in Japan. As my New Year card I used the photo of ‘Kagami Mochi’ sweet this year. Kagami Mochi, two pieces of round Mochi placed on top of each other and decorated with a citrus with a leaf called ‘Daidai’, seemed to be a very spiritually Japanese thing for me. My spirit has been still in traditionally Japanese mode all through January and my second sweet of the year 2020 is this ‘Temari’ Ball.

 

‘Temari’ Ball

temari_top

Handcrafted Art ‘Temari’ Balls

‘Temari’ is a Traditional Japanese handcrafted ball which is made with cloth and embroidery. The materials and pattern provide a very Japanese quality. I made a sweet which is supposed to look like a Temari. Instead of creating a pattern of embroidery I tried to produce the Japanese-ish image with the colour combination.

Temari2-3

I made two types of Temari sweet in a different colour combination, one with pink and purple and the other one with green and orange-yellow, and placed a tiny golden ball on top.

The darkest colour of each type is coloured with food. The purple with Ube, purple sweet potato, and green with ‘Match’ Green tea. Both types have a ‘Koshi-An’ Azuki Red bean paste as the centre filling so you can enjoy the taste combination of “Purple sweet potato x sweet Bean paste” and “Matcha x sweet Bean paste”, I assure you that both go so well.

This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.

Poinsettia

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).

Poinsettia 1

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.😉💕

Satsuma ‘Mikan’

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.

Satsuma ‘Mikan’

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?

Satsuma

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.

Sakura Junction’s Sweets’ back on the Shelves in London!

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.

Momiji 1

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! 🍁

‘MOMIJI’ Japanese Maple

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.

Momiji 3

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