Some parts of the UK and Europe have been hit by thunder storms over the weekend. Although London was not affected much, it rains on and off. I’ve been experiencing difficulty sleeping through several stuffy nights so I am very pleased its’ cooled off. The showers were also very welcome in my garden because the earth was very dry.
There is one plant that looks great in the rain. It’s Hydrangea. The flower is normally pink or blue and it’s said that the acidic soil makes the flower blue and the more alkaline soil makes it pink. It’s now in the flowering season of the water loving Hydrangea and the rain enhances its beauty. I think the pompom-like common Hydrangea looks pretty, however, the one I like is the Lacecap Hydrangea which has a little more delicate touch.
I have made several Hydrangea sweets before and this time I created the Lacecap Hydrangea.
The 16th of June is ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Day. Although the ceremony is an old tradition that started in 848, it was forgotten once for a long time and reintroduced to the modern Japanese people in 1979. As a part of the ceremony we place sixteen sweets as an offering to the God in order to pray for good health.
Instead of offering sixteen sweets I have been introducing sixteen sweets from all my creation of the previous year recently (2018, 2017 and 2016 with the more detail of the Wagashi Day).
My Sixteen Wagashi in 2019
So I introduce sixteen Wagashi from all the Japanese sweets I created in the year 2019 here.
Happy Wagashi Day for you!
Is there such a thing as too early for watermelon🍉? Not in my book! 😅
This is a Mochi type sweet in the shape and flavour of watermelon. I know watermelon is the king of summer fruit but we are still in the new normal life-style and I couldn’t wait to post this sweet until summer comes.
It’s Vegan and Gluten free.
It’s very windy today in London.
Have a lovely weekend!🍉🍉
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.
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!
I mentioned in my previous post of Cinnamon & Cream Mochi I created several types of Mochi this summer and this Watermelon Mochi is another one.
As you can tell from the name and the appearance of the sweet I used Watermelon as the flavour of filling inside. Two years ago I made similar (in the look and also the name) sweet which I named Mochi Watermelon but there is a minor difference between them. Basically the one two years ago was in a shape of the fruit as well as the flavour, and the one I made this summer was Mochi with the flavour packed inside.