Matcha Babka with Tsubuan

During the first lockdown in the UK, I made Babka twice. One was with Cinnamon and the other one was with Chocolate. When I was eating it, I thought that babka must go well with some Japanese ingredients. I’ve been thinking to try making my Japanese Babka for a while but didn’t have a chance … until recently.

Just before the UK went into the second lockdown, I started participating a virtual Bake-Off competition that is hosted by my local deli shop. The first task was Babka so it was the great opportunity for me to try creating my imaginary Japanese Babka.

Matcha Babka with Sweet Azuki Bean Paste & White Chocolate

I added Matcha green tea powder to the brioche dough to give the pastry beautiful green colour and also, sweet but a little pungent green tea flavour. For the filling I spread ‘Tsubuan’ sweet Azuki (red) bean paste all over the stretched dough and then scattered some white chocolate pieces on top. What I aimed to create was a great contrast in colour as well as flavour.

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Watermelon

A little Indian summer has come to London. The temperature has risen to around 28-9℃ for two to three days. I know it’s not any significant temperature for people who live in very hot weather. However, in the UK this summer was terrible. It suddenly became unbearably hot about 34 ℃+ in June that stopped me from doing anything outdoor or even indoor. Then after there were rainy-cold-miserable days that to last forever… But now in mid-September, finally very nice summer days are back to London.

Watermelon Sweet

Whenever we are in summer, there is Watermelon. This is the watermelon ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweet I made this summer.

It’s made with lots of Watermelon juice which is gathered with agar powder. It’s a little similar to jelly but agar is made from seaweed and is vegetable based.

It’s Vegan and Gluten free.

Hope this comfortable little summer lasts longer.

Elderflower Mochi

Elder2During the Elderflower season in May I made two things to preserve the loveliness of the flowers. One of them is the famous Elderflower Cordial and the other one is Elderflower Champagne. Both are made in a similar way by keeping fresh flowers in a sugary water with lemon and lime to extract the flavour and the scent of flowers into the liquid. You can make a refreshing summer drink by adding water to a little amount of the cordial.

Elderflower

However, I wanted to have it not just as a drink, I wanted to taste it as a Japanese sweet. I wonder what type of sweet is the most suitable for using Elderflower flavour and then thought it should be definitely soft Mochi.

 

Elderflower Mochi

As the Mochi sweet with Elderflower flavour, the look has to be very simple and the colour scheme has to be white.

Elderflower Mochi1

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Lacecap Hydrangea

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.

gakuajisai2007There 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.

 

Lacecap Hydrangea

I have made several Hydrangea sweets before and this time I created the Lacecap Hydrangea.

Hydrangea10-5

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Happy Wagasgi Day

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!

Watermelon Mochi Sweet

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.

watermelon20-2-2

It’s very windy today in London.

Have a lovely weekend!🍉🍉

Clematis in Lilac Colour

Lilac c2My parents once had a Clematis plant in their front garden. In springtime it opened hundreds of beautiful flowers in lilac colour. Although the plant has sadly disappeared since then, the sight of the beauty stays in my memory forever and I wanted to make it as Wagashi sweet. The Clematis sweet I made last year and two years ago also can be seen from the links.

Clematis

I made Clematis Japanese sweet ‘Wagashi’ by trying to reproduce the flower from my memory.

clematis20-2

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Floating Sakura Petals

Whilst we’ve been locked down, it’s already the middle of May and the Cherry blossom season has been long gone! Luckily I had a chance to see beautiful Sakura blossom in my area during my walking.

Floating Petals

Japanese people love Cherry blossom so much that we have lots of words which express scenes relating to Sakura blossom. Even when we see the blossom is ending and some petals are blown away, we find a beauty in the scene of sakura petals floating on water such as a pond or river. We call it ‘Hana Ikada’ which means a flower raft. I made my version of Hana Ikada, Floating Sakura Petals.

hanaikada

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