Wisteria – the Purple Shower!

Wisteria on fenceThe “Purple Shower”! This is what people call it. You find it on a pergola, trellis or just above a house porch or fence. You see hundreds of flower pendants in white to bluey purple hanging down during middle to early summer. It has a wonderful scent and attracts lots of bees. They are the flowers of Wisteria.

Wisteria

Although this flower is quite a traditional design as a Japanese sweet, this was my first time that I have tried making a Wisteria sweet. I tried several ways for making Wisteria sweet and these are the two of them. I used a technique called ‘See though’ which is basically two layers of sweet in different colours are placed on top of each other and the bottom colour comes out being viewed by removing some parts of the top layer.

Wisteria3

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Kashiwa Mochi

The Children’s Day has ended. It was the 5th of May in Japan. There are several traditions people do on that day including eating special food, particularly sweets. One of them is called ‘Kashiwa Mochi’. As you can guess from the name it is a ‘Mochi’ type of sweet and has some kind of central filling inside. The filling can be various but normally it is Sweet Azuki (Red) Bean Paste. The most characteristic feature of the sweet has come from its figure. It is wrapped up with an Oak leaf and ‘Kashiwa’ in its name means Oak in Japanese.

I saw many photos of Kashiwa Mochi on social media. I really wanted to eat it so I suddenly started making my own one on the Children’s Day. That is why I could not post this article in time. However, there was a problem. I didn’t have Oak leaves for wrapping the sweet…

Kashiwa Mochi

This was the solution for having my own Kashiwa Mochi. I made a Leaf with Japanese sweet so the leaf is edible too.

KashiwaMochi1

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Sakura in Many Ways

There are various ways of expressing ‘Sakura’ Cherry blossom as ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweet. When I look back at my sweets in old photos I realise that the shape and colour have changed. There is nothing wrong in any sweet but all depends on how you feel and also what types of material and technique I want to try using at that time.

 

Sakura ๐ŸŒธ Cherry Blossom

This is one of my Sakura sweets for this year.

Sakura 19-3

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Two Petals of Sakura

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.

Two Petals

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.

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Spring Has Come!

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.

๐ŸŒธSakura๐ŸŒธ

I made this design for a Tea specialty shop in London.

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Not Pancake, it was Taiyaki Day!

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.

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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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White Daffodils

So officially or perhaps unofficially ‘yet’ it is spring here in London. By following my previous post with ‘Ealy Spring Field’ I am going to introduce another early spring flower that you can find right now.

Daffodil-Flower-Record-Group_0a3cc90f-7f51-4a18-bf08-a9a89bb59cb6_x2000_crop_centerThey are Daffodils. Both Daffodil and Crocus are bulbous plants so they use energy stocked up in their bulbs to spread out the leaves from the ground even in the toughest season and try to be ready for opening flowers just on time when the sun warms up the air. I have to say their timing this year was perfect.

White Daffodils

I created yellow Daffodils last year so this year’s ones are pure White flowers.

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Early Spring Field – Crocus

van-zyverden-flower-bulbs-21430-64_1000‘Spring has come!’ This is the phrase my late father, who was eager to learn English but could not complete his desire, liked to say whenever the weather was becoming warm. Even before the end of February now the weather is so mild in London, unlike the usual dark grey English weather this time of year it is very sunny with beautiful blue sky. So I go out for a walk and find some bulbous plants flowering.

Crocus

The scene with yellow and purple dots in the field made me smile. They are the flower buds of Crocus just about to open.

Spring Field Crocus 1

So this is my interpretation of the cheerful early spring field as a Japanese sweet.

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