Today the third of March is Hanamatsuri – Girls’ Day in Japan (Don’t worry, there is Boys’ day too). I have mentioned about this day in the past so if you are interested please read the articles in 2017 and 2018.
There are several traditional food/sweets we eat on this special day and Hishimochi is one of them. It is a diamond shaped sweet made with three coloured Mochi (in pink, white and green) place on top each other. In 2017 I made this Hishimochi sweet with steamed Japanese sweet instead using Mochi.
This year I made this Hina Mochi instead that is a Mochi type sweet I got inspired by Hishimochi. It is a round Mochi in the traditional Hishimochi tri-colours.
💕Happy Valentine’s Day!💕
What is significant for this day where your are? Valentine’s Day is the western idea to show how much you love your wife, husband, girlfriend and boyfriend. This was not a custom in Japan until the 1970’s when one chocolate company advertised that “it is the day a girl can tell her love to a boy by sending chocolates as the gift”. Since then the chocolate industry has been go crazy before Valentine’s day every year.
Chocolate Heart Mochi with Red Currant Jam
I made this Chocolate flavoured Mochi for Valentine’s Day this year.
It is a heart-shaped Japanese sweet with chocolate flavoured Mochi outer layer and sweet white bean paste and homemade red currant jam inside. For this special occasion it has the golden love potion powder sprinkled on top.
The Great thing is that you can taste this sweet at the Matcha Bar at the Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, London). They will serve this sweet during February.
It’s Vegan and Gluten free.
Maybe love is like a Chocolate Mochi! 💕Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!💕
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.
This summer I made Mochi in several flavours and this sweet is one of them.
Cinnamon & Cream Mochi
I named this sweet as Cinnamon & Cream Mochi but it is probably more suitable to call it ‘Yatsuhashi’ Cream Mochi.
People who have visited Japan, particularly in Kyoto, might have heard the name Yatsuhashi before. It’s a famous sweet from Kyoto that Mochi flavoured with cinnamon and Kinako (roasted Soybean powder) wrapping up sweet Adzuki (Red) bean paste filling.
My Cinnamon and Cream Mochi is a Mochi sweet coated with the same mixed powder as Yatsuhashi sweet. I used Sweet Adzuki (Red) bean paste and whipped cream as the central filling. The cream inside has been softly whipped and if you have this sweet half frozen, the cream part becomes almost like Ice cream. Basically it is a fusion of Japanese and western sweets and it’s great to have as a dessert after a dinner.
It’s Gluten free.
I have hosted several ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshops. They were mainly for adults and I had been thinking that it would be great if I could have a Workshop that people could participate with their children. In order to make this plan possible there were several issues to clear and the biggest one of them was that the event has to be held daytime. For solving the problem I thought it would be best if the event was held during the school holiday period. In case this idea happens, I have been considering several designs for sweets which are attractive and also simple enough for children to make but enjoyable for adults too. After going through many possibilities I finally picked three designs in the summer theme and set up a date and the venue to have a workshop on the 25th of July.
Wagashi Making Workshop (July/’19)
I had a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop in the Summer theme on the 25th of July and it ended well.
It is so great that my ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop is becoming almost a monthly event. This time it was at a new venue that was in an interior shop with a beautifully setting located in a quiet courtyard in North London.
Wagashi Making Workshop (May/19)
I had five participants who were willing to join me for this workshop. They are three female and two male, two of which were Japanese. I was very pleased to have this wonderfully mixed group of people.
How was your Easter? It was very nice that we had great weather for this Bank Holiday weekend. About one week before Easter time six people gathered in a Tea shop in Soho London and my Workshop in April finished successfully. It’s great the daytime is becoming longer now and when we started the Workshop at 7pm the outside is still bright.
Wagashi Making Workshop (April/19)
This time all the participants had tasted my sweets before and we had two workshop repeaters amongst them.
Look how smiley everybody in the workshop is. Of course they looked very serious when they had to concentrate on making the shape of the sweet but quite often we all went in bursting a laughter! It was such a relaxed great atmosphere. It’s great to see everyone was enjoying the time being there.
Happy Easter, Everyone! There are many Easter related food and sweets but there is one thing I make every year, which is Hot Cross Buns. I like its spicy taste and the smell filling in the kitchen while you are baking. It is just heaven! I am trying to stop using animal products these days but I love Cream or Clotted Cream on that spicy buns.
This year, however, I decided to make something similar in shape but completely different. The sweet I made was not baked→steamed, not buns→Manju. Got it? I made a Japanese steamed sweet ‘Manju’ with a cross on top.
Steamed Cross Manju
Steamed Manju is good as it is, whether it is hot as just steamed or cold with a bowl of tea or coffee. However, because I made these Manju look like Cross Buns this time I also set it out like the teatime version on Easter.
Two weeks ago I hold a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop. It was at a Tea specialty shop in Soho London and the workshop was combined with a Japanese Tea tasting session. This time we had six participants and they were composed of two friends with a daughter, a couple and a French lady. They all had been to Japan or lived there before so everyone knew what we were going to create so I could start the class very smoothly.
Wagashi Making Workshop (03/2018)
These are the Wagashi sweets I planned to make together with the participants.
Yesterday was the Pancake Day in the UK. It is the day people make pancake in order to consume the ingredients in the fridge such as eggs and milk before Easter starts. So I tried making ‘Dorayaki’ Japanese Pancake and then … in somehow I failed. The pancake part did not come out well. I was hoping that I would be able to post a photo of beautifully baked Dorayaki pancake here but now I don’t have any photo. It could be because I used one of the brand new frying pan? I will take a revenge on making great Dorayaki sometime soon, but in the meantime I am going to show you the photos of my recent ‘Taiyaki’ fish shaped Bake instead.
Taiyaki with Shiratama Mochi Balls
These are the Taiyaki I made a few days ago for my teatime.