Momo-Mochi Matcha Zenzai

We are in March now and going to have one of the Japanese customs tomorrow on the 3rd of March. It is Girl’s Day called ‘Hinamatsuri’ and we pray for the health and happiness of girls by decorating special Hina Dolls in our houses on the day. This day is also called ‘Momo no Sekku’ which means Peach Festival and we place peach flower in a room or eat peach fruit or peach flower shaped sweets. I have created some sweets in a shape of Hina dolls in the past but I made a simple dessert for the coming event this year.

 

Momo-Mochi Matcha Zenzai

Matcha Zenzai

I created ‘Momo’ (Peach) flower shape in a bowl and had it with Matcha tea in ‘Zenzai’ style. Zenzai is a sweet soup type dessert that we normally make with sweet Azuki (Red) bean paste during a cold season. I created this Matcha version to make it suitable for spring. It is very easy to make at home so I am going to share how to prepare this dessert.

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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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Matcha Hot Cross Anpan

During the Easter Holiday I make Hot Cross Buns almost every year. I like the spices and dried fruits inside the buns and of course plenty of clotted cream on the halved and slightly toasted buns too. However, this year I wanted to make something a little different. Something a little more Japanese … so, I decided to add a Japanese ingredient into buns.

Western people might think that Japanese are eating rice all the time but actually we love bread. In Japan we have all sorts of bread from savoury to sweet. One of the Japanese favourite sweet bread is Anpan which is a bun filled with ‘An‘ (Sweet Azuki Bean Paste) in the centre. I decided making this Japanese nation’s favourite buns for this Easter by mixing with one of the most famous Japanese flavour ‘Matcha’ Green tea.

Matcha Hot Cross Anpan

As this was for the Easter I made a cross on top and call it Matcha Hot Cross Anpan!! It went fairly well, apart fromΒ  … it’s overbaked. The batteries for my timer ran out so I did not time the baking. I distructed using the computer and forgot about the baking. It turned out that the top became too dark and hard to see the cross. It also dried up a little and the Sweet Bean Paste is not as moist as it should be.

Matcha Anpan1

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🌸 Sakura, Sakura πŸŒΈ

Wow, time passes so quickly! It is already April and we are officially in Spring! This winter was so mild in England and spring has arrived early too. I heard that in several areas in Japan the symbol of Spring β€˜Sakura’ Cherry Blossom has been flowering slowly this year and still not fully opened, however, it has been flowering everywhere in London. The trees in the park where I live nearby actually lost most of the flowers and leaves are coming out already. Since I was looking forward to seeing beautiful cherry blossom, it is sad that the best season is going so quickly.

Anyway, when this season comes I have to make some sweet in the Sakura theme for April.

Sakura/ Cherry Blossom

So, this is my β€˜Sakura’ Cherry Blossom sweet this year.

Sakura 6

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Petal Mochi (Hanabira Mochi)

Happy New Year to you all again!Β  Hope you had great Christmas and New Year’s Day. The first sweet I would like to introduce you in 2017 is this sweet called ‘Hanabira Mochi‘.

Petal Mochi (Hanabira Mochi)

petal-mochi-top-croped2

Hanabira‘ means flower petal in Japanese so I shall call this sweet Petal Mochi.

It is a sweet we traditionaly have only during New Year period. It started in the palace to celebrate a New Year by eating two layers of white and red mochi with some other food. Until the Meiji period the custom spread out to people in the country and the food got simplified onto some similar type of sweet that I made here.

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