Happy New Year, 2019!

New Year 2018 sq

Wish you all have Wonderful 2019!!

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Japanese Christmas Market is Coming to North London

There is one annual event that I join as Sakura Junction at this time of a year. It is a Japanese Christmas Market that gets held in North London. This is the only occasion that I sell my Japanese sweets to public and I enjoy chatting and seeing the reaction from people. Last year the day we had the market London woke up in a blanket of snow which continued to fall till the evening. This caused so much difficulty for people driving or parking their car and the public bus services were also all cancelled. So it was disastrous for us that people couldn’t come to the venue even though they wanted to. This meant a very limited number of visitors.

The market is a craft fair so a lot of stall holders sell their own creations which are somethings Japanese related. They will be a great Christmas gift for your friends and families. However, it seems like that the things the visitors are after the most is food, Japanese food! We have several stalls that serve hot meals and sweets so you can have lunch first and look around to find beautiful things, and then enjoy teatime with Japanese sweet in one location.

Poster 2018

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Wagashi Workshop in London (Oct/18)

This post became a much delayed report but last month I had an opportunity to hold another ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop in London. This time it was at the very posh lovely Tea speciality shop My Cup of Tea which is located near Piccadilly Circus. Maybe because it was a weekday and also in the early evening we had two male enthusiasts amongst female participants. It is great to see many people from both gender getting to know about Japanese sweets culture and being interested in even making them.

 

Wagashi Making Workshop in London October 2018

The theme of the sweets we made in the Workshop was Flowers. I planned to make three sweets that are visually pretty but not too complicated to produce for beginners. After a short introduction the workshop commenced.

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Mochi Mont Blanc

Autumn is here! It is the season that some particular delicacies appear in food markets. Such delicacies are mushrooms, persimmon, nuts and so much more. Amongst all these foods in this season the one that stands out especially for Japanese people is definitely Sweet Chestnut. We love Chestnuts very much. We use them for making all sorts of sweets and even for savoury dishes. The most loved sweet with chestnuts in Japan is undoubtedly Mont Blanc which of course is a western cake with a soft sponge as the base and topped up with a swirl of sweet delicious chestnuts cream. Every Autumn when I find sweet chestnuts at a front of green groceries I have been thinking that I would arrange this nations favourite cake into a Japanese sweet ‘Wagashi’ someday.

Mochi Mont Blanc

So this year I finally managed to make my own Japanese sweet version of Mont Blanc. Instead of sponge I used soft sweet ‘Mochi’, rice cake, as the base. For making the delicious Chestnut flavour to stand out, I selected simple plain flavoured one.

Mochi Mont Blanc3

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Firework on Guy Fawkes Night!

Today, the 5th of November, is Guy Fawkes Night and sometime also called Bonfire Night. It is the day that in 1605 Guy Fawkes and a group of people plotted to explode House of Parliament in England. However, they failed and got arrested and then were executed after brutally tortured. Later on people celebrated the attempt of Guy Fawkes and started making bonfires in a square and also putting up fireworks and fire crackers in the evening on Guy Fawkes Night.

Firework

So, I made Firework, Japanese sweet. I feel a little odd to post about Fireworks sweet in November. Because Fireworks season is normally summer in Japan and it seems like an out of season post. However, I made this Fireworks sweet for British people and this is one of my monthly sweets for November.

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Ghost 2018

This is my Ghost sweet for this Halloween in 2018. I have been making Ghost shaped Japanese sweets for the last three years. I created this one as the example of one of the sweets that I was planning to make in the Wagashi, Japanese Sweet, Workshop with participants. However, we changed the theme for the event in the end and I did not have a chance to make this Ghost in the event. I liked how the shape and the charming face of this ghost came out, so I hope I can create it in another workshop maybe next year.

Ghost 2018

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Happy Halloween 🎃

Mochi ‘Jack-O’-Lantern’🎃

PumpkinsWhat is the most significant thing /character for Halloween? When you go shopping to a grocery shop or even your usual supermarket, you see many pumpkins piled up in a box. They are for carving into lanterns. I always think it is such a waste if they are just used as lanterns and not to be eaten. Once I was given a big orange pumpkin and I tried cook it instead of carving a scary face on the surface, but I failed, miserably. It was very watery, spongy and tasteless and how ever you cooked, it was unedible!

So my answer for the question I made at the beginning is Jack-O’-Lantern for me! It must be. You see pumpkins everywhere during this season. I made Jack-O’-Lantern Japanese sweet two years ago with Japanese sweet ‘Nerikiri’. It is a material which is very suitable to create a shape and pattern on the surface. This year I made it again, however, the material I used was ‘Mochi’. I wasn’t sure if I could make the detailed look of Jack-O’-Lantern with such a gooey and bumpy material but I tried it anyway.

Mochi Jack-O’-Lantern

Jack-O'-Lantern1

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Watermelon & Blackberry with Shiratama Mochi Balls

I went Blackberry picking the other day. I was not sure if the fruits would still be there, but there were some. So I got Blackberries and some Watermelon in my refrigerator and I wondered what I could make with them… It has to be some kind of summery dessert which could be prepared quickly. In this heat I don’t have much patience to get a result and then I found a perfect solution!

Watermelon & Blackberry with Shiratama Mochi Balls

What I had to do was just making ‘Shiratama’ Mochi balls and some syrup. The rest of the task was combining all the ingredients together in a chilled glass bowl. Easy!

Watermelon & shiratama4

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