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.
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.
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!
It’s Chinese New Year today!
For cerebrationg Chinese New Year I made Fortune Mochies! It’s in a shape of fortune cookie but the outer layer is made of Mochi sweet instead with a hint of cinnamon and filled with smooth sweet Azuki (red) bean paste.
– Mochi gives you happiness! –
Hope everyone bocomes happy in year 2020!😊
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.
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.
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.
🎶♬ Incy Wincy Spider went up the water spout … 🎶
It’s nearly Holloween time! Great thing about this season for sweet makers is that we are allowed to create any spooky wooky designs.
🕸️Incy Wincy Spider🕷️
I have never tried making a spider sweet before and this is my first attempt. Its thin long legs were quite tricky to make but it turned out to be so realistic.😅 I just hope you don’t have arachnophobia.
Although there is a spider on this sweet, “No Animals were harmed in the making of this sweet” so that this sweet is totally Vegan!🤣
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!
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.
When you make a Japanese sweet in a flower shape or some decorative pattern ‘Nerikiri’ sweet is the most suitable material. It has a soft marzipan like texture and you can colour or flavour it into anything you like. On the other hand ‘Mochi’ type sweet is more for wrapping up a filling so it’s used for something like a ‘Daifuku’ kind of sweet.
That is why I wanted to try making a flower with Mochi type sweet. It was just a quick experiment so this is not meant to be a finalised precise work but as the spring season is coming I tried making a flower with a Mochi kind of sweet.
So this is the result of my little experiment. I don’t know whether it is clearly seen but it’s supposed to be a Tulip flower made with a Mochi type sweet. I had the image of a pure white colour Tulip with a big green leaf. I wanted to create it as a Japanese sweet.
It is a phenomenon to me that there are so many western people who likes ‘Mochi’ these days. Mochi is Rice Cake and usually we make it by pounding glutinous sweet rice. When I looked back at the time when I started making Japanese food and sweet to friends in England many years ago, everybody disliked Mochi. It could be to do with the gooey texture or quite blank taste I don’t know, but even when Mochi was hot or cold, sweet or savoury it didn’t go well. However, now so many people like it or even love Mochi!
I have introduced you Clementine Daifuku two weeks ago. It is a very good version of fruity ‘Mochi’ type sweet. Mochi goes well with Sweet Bean Paste and fresh Fruit. But the most known fruity Mochi sweet is this Strawberry Daifuku.
Yesterday, the 25th April, was World Penguin Day! I didn’t know about it until I got up and saw my social media yesterday morning. But as soon as I knew about it and also read that the number of Penguin chicks is declining due to the climate change and I thought I had to make some Penguins.
In Central London Eco Protesters have been fighting for us. It is very painful to hear that the young Swedish girl is making an appeal to people that her future has been stolen! Yes, Stolen! We all have to do something about it! Act now to make a change!
Penguins 🐧 Japanese Sweets
These are the Penguins I made for appealing the importance of Penguins in our world.
This is ‘Clementine Daifuku’. Daifuku is a ‘Mochi’ type Japanese Sweet and usually filled with Sweet Bean Paste inside the Mochi outer layer. However, the combination of it with additional fruit is great and ‘Ichigo Daifuku’, the one with strawberry, is very tasty and hugely popular. I had seen someone was making Daifuku with tangerine and wanted to try making it myself.
I made some of these Japanese Sweets with Orange coloured Mochi outer layer and some with white one (natural Mochi colour). It was not that unusual if I left the white sweet as it was, but when I placed the green part on top it looked something so unknown. It made me think it could be a round white aubergine or … what? That was how the ‘Guess What this Sweet’ Quiz started in my previous post.