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…
This was the solution for having my own Kashiwa Mochi. I made a Leaf with Japanese sweet so the leaf is edible too.
Yesterday, the 25th April, was World Penguin Day! I didn’t know about it until I got up and saw my social media yesterday morning. But as soon as I knew about it and also read that the number of Penguin chicks is declining due to the climate change and I thought I had to make some Penguins.
In Central London Eco Protesters have been fighting for us. It is very painful to hear that the young Swedish girl is making an appeal to people that her future has been stolen! Yes, Stolen! We all have to do something about it! Act now to make a change!
Penguins 🐧 Japanese Sweets
These are the Penguins I made for appealing the importance of Penguins in our world.
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.
Happy Easter, Everyone! There are many Easter related food and sweets but there is one thing I make every year, which is Hot Cross Buns. I like its spicy taste and the smell filling in the kitchen while you are baking. It is just heaven! I am trying to stop using animal products these days but I love Cream or Clotted Cream on that spicy buns.
This year, however, I decided to make something similar in shape but completely different. The sweet I made was not baked→steamed, not buns→Manju. Got it? I made a Japanese steamed sweet ‘Manju’ with a cross on top.
Steamed Cross Manju
Steamed Manju is good as it is, whether it is hot as just steamed or cold with a bowl of tea or coffee. However, because I made these Manju look like Cross Buns this time I also set it out like the teatime version on Easter.
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!🌺🌸🌷🌼
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.
It was ‘Hinamatsuri’ the Girl’s Day yesterday. I have mentioned about the Japanese culture of praying for the good health and happiness of girls on the 3rd of March on my previous post. We decorate our home with Hina Dolls of Emperor and Empress as well as some other figures on red carpeted shelves, that are between five to seven shelves (or even more) traditionally. I created some sweets in shapes of the dolls in the past. On this day we don’t just decorate but also eat a sweet called ‘Hishimochi’ which means diamond-shaped Mochi which I also have created it once before.
There is one sweet that people particularly in the Kyoto area eat for the Girl’s Day but I was not familiar with it until recently. The sweets are called ‘Hichigiri’. I heard that this sweet was born in the palace in the old time in probably the Heian period. People needed to make many Mochi to serve so many guests that they were too busy to roll up each Mochi piece into a ball shape. Then they just pulled small pieces and left the pulled shape as it was. If you understand ‘Kanji’ (Chinese) character you know Hichigiri (引千切) means literally ‘pull and cut into a thousand’. I could imagine that the Palace kitchen was so busy.😆
So this year I tried creating these sweets for Hinamatsuri.