It is a phenomenon to me that there are so many western people who likes ‘Mochi’ these days. Mochi is Rice Cake and usually we make it by pounding glutinous sweet rice. When I looked back at the time when I started making Japanese food and sweet to friends in England many years ago, everybody disliked Mochi. It could be to do with the gooey texture or quite blank taste I don’t know, but even when Mochi was hot or cold, sweet or savoury it didn’t go well. However, now so many people like it or even love Mochi!
I have introduced you Clementine Daifuku two weeks ago. It is a very good version of fruity ‘Mochi’ type sweet. Mochi goes well with Sweet Bean Paste and fresh Fruit. But the most known fruity Mochi sweet is this Strawberry Daifuku.
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.
Here is a Japanese sweet ‘Two Petals’. It is a ‘Wagashi’ in the shape of two petals of Sakura Cherry blossom half covering each other. Sakura season seems to be coming to the end in Japan but blossom of some Cherry trees is still hanging on luckily in the UK, maybe because the weather is quite chilly these days.
The greatest thing about Sakura blossom is its colour. Particularly in a mild but bright spring sunlight it gives such a warmth into people’s mind. I wanted to create the gentle gradation on the petal from very light pink to almost white colour.
I made this. It is a sweet. It’s a kind of Japanese Sweet. Can you guess what it is?
Clue: Something juicy is hidden inside.
It will be a great dessert!
Any idea what kind of sweet it is?
I am so pleased that although the season started a little earlier this year Sakura Cherry blossom is still flowering well. I can see one Cherry tree in my garden in full bloom right at the moment. Some petals started falling down with a breeze but it is creating a beautiful ‘Fuzei’ (pleasantly aesthetic) moment to your mind too. On top of the privilege of enjoying the view of next door’s Cherry blossom, this tree also produces tasty cherry fruit. I hope it will be a great summer for cherries.
So we are in Cherry blossom time. As a Japanese sweet creator I have made several Sakura sweets this spring and this one is the first one I created.
I made this design for a Tea specialty shop in London.
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.
Summertime has started in the UK. We lost one hour last sunday but we have longer daylight now. That is great!
When I was searching for a good design for ‘Wagashi’ Making Workshop in Springtime, this sweet was born. What I needed was something easy to make, visually pretty and also something represents this season well.
Spring Field – Full of Spring
I was imagining a vast field which was covered with lots of wild plants bursting out their flowers. In that kind of pretty field we surely have butterflies too. Yes, it’s true I might have topped it up with a little too many pieces. Maybe it’s not that suitable for a workshop but I believe that it certainly looks very spring-like.
Have a wonderful spring moment of yours!🌺🌸🌷🌼
Now officially it is spring in the UK. Which means Sakura season has started. Sakura is a Japanese word for Cherry tree and also Cherry Blossom. People in Japan love Cherry blossoms and go crazy when this season starts or even before when the season comes nearer. I mentioned about our tradition in Sakura season three years ago on this blog so if you are interested about the custom please read my old post.
As well as our traditional Cherry Blossom viewing ‘Hanami’ we like to eat all sorts of food which is in flavour or shape of Sakura blossom. There are many ways to produce Sakura related sweets and I will try making several different types in this season.
Sakura sweet in Japanese Crêpe style (with recipe)
This is a baked type Sakura sweet in crêpe style.
When I come back from Japan my suitcase is always full, actually too full and overloaded which means sometimes I have to remove some stuff from it. It’s normally filled with Sencha green tea, sweets and some other Japanese food that are either difficult to find or too expensive in London. However, when I returned this time in February there were something different I brought back in my luggage.
They were my brand new tools for making Japanese sweets. Now I am back in London and started creating Japanese sweets. I could not wait to see if I could use them properly. I have seen that many professional sweets makers were producing beautiful sweets by using the same tools and could not wait to try out how I can use this.
This sweet is the very first trial I made as a practise, so it is far from the perfection. I realised that controlling the grip of the tool is the key to producing a great result and I need a lot of practice. One of the petals came off by cutting too deep, but I am quite pleased to see the outcome as this was my first attempt. I don’t know how it looks to you but I hope you can see this as the shape of Chrysanthemum or some kind of flower. I am going to carry on practising and hopefully I can show you the great result of a Chrysanthemum by this autumn.
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.