Wagashi Workshop in January

It was more than a month ago but the first Japanese sweet making workshop of this year ended wonderfully. It became the workshop with the biggest attendees of mine. Everybody was very enthusiastic and the class went very smoothly.

Wagashi Making Workshop in January

Jan p1-2The class didn’t have just many participants, it had several different nationalities of people with four male. It was very balanced class. I mentioned that the last class in December we had a group of friends using the class as the occasion to celebrate a birthday girl. In this January class we had not one, but two birthday girls so it had a very happy atmosphere for all of us. I was pleased that my workshop has been chosen for a celebration event and hope it will continue having more birthday girls/boys in the future.

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Hina Mochi on Hinamatsuri

hishimochi-2Today 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.ย  In 2017 I made this Hishimochi sweet with steamed Japanese sweet instead using Mochi.

Hina 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.

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Chocolate Heart for Valentine’s Day!

๐Ÿ’•Happy Valentine’s Day!๐Ÿ’•

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.

chocoheart

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.

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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! ๐Ÿ’•Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!๐Ÿ’•

Plum Flower Mochi

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.

Plum 1

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.

Plum 2

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!

Fortune Mochies

It’s Chinese New Year today!

Fortune Mochies

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.

Fortune mochi

– Mochi gives you happiness! –

Hope everyone bocomes happy in year 2020!๐Ÿ˜Š

โ€™Temari’ Ball

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.

 

‘Temari’ Ball

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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.

Temari2-3

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.

The 1st Workshop of the Year 2020

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/New Year Holiday. After a long great rest I am sure people are ready for the new challenge in this brand new year 2020. I have prepared the Wagashi Making Workshop in the early spring theme for you.

 

Wagashi Making Workshop in January

This will be the first Wagashi Workshop this year so the theme is early spring. I thought several ideas and chose these three designs for this workshop which include a Snow Rabbit and ‘Ume’ plum flower in two ways.

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on: the 26th / January (Sunday), 13:00 โ€“ 15:00 
at: The Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, London W8 6ND)

As the name says a Snow Rabbit is supposed to be snow made into a rabbit shape. It is a traditional children’s custom in a snowy area in Japan. The ears are normally made with two long leaves so that the snow rabbit we are going to make is also having green ears.

The Plum flower is a symbol of New Year. It is almost the first flower to appear in a garden when the weather is still severe so it’s thought to be something delightful and brings happiness.

One of the plum designs we will create is a flower by using a traditional technique. You will learn how to use the wooden tool and your hand to make the sweet into a lovely flower shape. In the second plum flower design I want to show the image of plum blossoms opening on branches in early spring. I am planning to set this one as the free designing sweet and hope I will see lots of different looking sweets designed by creative participants.

The sweets we will make are all Vegan and Gluten free.

[The tickets] for this workshop are available now from here (โ†click here to the Link). The class is limited to 9 people only so donโ€™t miss out on this great opportunity!

Wagashi Workshop in December

Since December has begun it seems like my time has been passing so quickly. We had Christmas already and now we have only one day left before New Year’s Eve. I had a Wagashi Making Workshop in December and that was already about a month ago.

On one Sunday afternoon people gathered in the cosy basement space of the Havan Store for making the Christmas themed Wagashi together. The participants were consisted of four groups which were two friends groups, two sisters and one individual person. The youngest attendee this time was one of the sisters who was 12 years old girl and who’d wanted to join us in our previous Halloween themed workshop but couldn’t. So it was my great pleasure that we had her for this session as one of attendees.

One of the friends groups of three girls came to our event as the birthday celebration of one of the girls’. The birthday girl seemed to be a big Japanese culture lover and it was a brilliant way to spend a day together with her and I felt privileged that they chose my workshop for this memorable occasion.

Wagashi Making Workshop in the Christmas Theme

Chris adI chose three designs for this workshop. They were a Snowman, a Christmas Pudding and a Christmas Tree. I always enjoy seeing that participans get creative and make the sweets in their own way so I normally keep my examples quite simple and leave some space that attendees can develop by themselves. After deciding these three sweets there was a litle doubt in my mind that there might not be enough room to show their creativity, however, I was very wrong. All of the participants used all the materials cleverly and created something remarkable in the end.

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