Dear Wagashi Lovers in London!
There is something I’d like to announce with my great pleasure. Sakura Junction’s sweets have been back on the shelves! Since the Kimono shop which was serving my sweets for three years had sadly closed down a year ago, I was asked many times by the Wagashi lovers where they could get my sweets. Except on some occasions when I sell my sweets in a market stall, none were available to buy for the general public. However, now I can tell you that my sweets are back on shelves in London.
That is at The Havan Store (262 Kensington High Street, W8 6ND London) which is an Ethical Lifestyle boutique they have just started serving my sweets at their Matcha Tea Bar from this month.
So the first ‘Wagashi’ sweets at their Matcha Bar is Japanese Maple that I have introduced in my previous post. In the shop you can have the sweet with their Matcha tea which has something significant about. I’ve had Matcha tea in several places but their one is very special and memorable. It’s very smooth which is almost cream-like. I took a Matcha enthusiast to this shop and she was so amazed and loved it.
The shop’s ethical theme is another thing that I like about this shop. You will find something unusual and interesting to you.
My Japanese Maple sweet (Vegan & Gluten Free) is available at the Havan store during November. Enjoy! 🍁
What I like about Japanese sweets is that they are so seasonal. The colour, design and ingredients are all reflecting the season. For instance in spring we create lots of Sakura Cherry blossom sweet and in November it is officially Autumn so we make sweets of Autumn colour.
‘Momiji’ Japanese Maple
One of the most famous plant leaves in Autumn colour is the Japanese Maple. It is called ‘Momiji’ in Japanese and is famous for its leaves having the beautiful shape with the most delicate cut and it changes the colour into a very vivid red colour amongst all Acer family.
This is one of the Mochi sweets I recently made. I used fresh red grapes as well as some sweet white bean paste as the centre filling. The size of the grapes was a little smaller side for using for this type of sweet but it was very juicy and tasty. In order to make biting easier the skin of the grape was removed before wrapped up in the Mochi layer. So it got three thing – looks pretty, tasty and easy to eat.
This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.
I would also like to announce to all Wagashi lovers in London. I am going to have a WAGASHI Making Workshop in the Halloween Theme soon.
on: the 19th / October (Saturday), 11:30 – 13:30
at: The Havan (262 Kensington High Street, London W8 6ND)
This time the venue is in a wonderful shop in High Street Kensington which serves a bowl of beautifully thick and creamy Matcha tea and lovely vegan sweets. They are also a kind of concept shop and have a lot of lovely things. They are offering 10% discount of any purchase on the day for all the participants. Isn’t that Great?
[The tickets] If you are interested in participation, please visit the detail page (←click here to the Link). The class is limited to a small group of people so book now not to be disappointed! Cheers!
I created something I have never made before. I received an order for a Birthday Cake by one very enthusiastic customer of my sweets when they were served at the Kimono shop in Notting Hill, London. There were two options for a Japanese sweet cake. One of them is a traditional Japanese sweet in a cake shape and the other one was a cake with a traditional but sponge-like Japanese sweet as a base with some Japanese decorations. Japanese sweets I often make are mainly made with beans, sugar and rice flour so that they are vegan. I could happily make the traditionally Japanese vegan sweet into a bigger cake shape, however, I have been thinking to try making a very western looking cake but actually a Japanese sweet.
Japanese Birthday Cake
I suggested the latter option to the client and she agreed with it, so here is the Japanese Birthday Cake I made for her.
I have hosted several ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshops. They were mainly for adults and I had been thinking that it would be great if I could have a Workshop that people could participate with their children. In order to make this plan possible there were several issues to clear and the biggest one of them was that the event has to be held daytime. For solving the problem I thought it would be best if the event was held during the school holiday period. In case this idea happens, I have been considering several designs for sweets which are attractive and also simple enough for children to make but enjoyable for adults too. After going through many possibilities I finally picked three designs in the summer theme and set up a date and the venue to have a workshop on the 25th of July.
Wagashi Making Workshop (July/’19)
I had a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop in the Summer theme on the 25th of July and it ended well.
I have introduced two types of my Wisteria sweets previously that I created by using two types of tools. And then I thought I could create another Wisteria sweet in a slightly different and possibly better design, so I wanted try to see if my method will work. Basically I was not satisfied with previous designs because they did not look Purple showering enough! It needed more flowers hanging down like a real shower.
So I created this sweet as an experiment. The technique is quite similar to the designs of the Wisteria I had made earlier by placing two layers in different colours and removing the top layer and revealing the bottom colour from the cut.
Today, the 16th of June, is the Wagashi Day (please read the article about this day that I posted in 2017). It started as the day that the emperor made sixteen of ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweets as the offering to the God when the plague took place and destroyed people’s lives in the Heian period. Although the day was set as the Wagashi Day since then, the custom of the offering almost died down. However, just recently people started bringing this Memorial day back.
By following the custom of offering, I re-introduce sixteen sweets of my Wagashi I had created in the previous year here.
16 My Wagashi in 2018
Here are the sixteen sweets from all Wagashi Japanese sweets I have created in the year 2018.
With these sixteen sweets offering/photos I just hope our world is going to reshift towards a better direction. Happy Wagashi Day!
One of the magnificent shrubs that has a brilliant colour and scent in early spring is Lilac. I made a sweet in a shape of Lilac flowers a little earlier, however, could not manage to write and edit it until now. Its flower comes out around at the beginning of May, so this post is basically one month late. I am sorry about that. Once the spring season starts everything in a garden grows so quickly. When you have some events and engagements it is very difficult to catch up and that is my excuse for delaying to publish this article.
Anyway, it’s the exactly same case as my recent post of Choisya that I wanted to make a sweet of Lilac every spring. It produces such a wonderful scent at the front of my garden and I really had to create it into a sweet. I have two types of Lilac in my garden. The one near my back door has white flowers and the other shrub gets purple flowers so it took a while to decide how I was going to produce the design of Lilac flowers and which colour I should use. I probably love white flower shrub more. Thit is because white flowers have the sweeter smell and the purple one (Syringa vulgaris) is quite vigorous. However, when one says ‘Lilac colour’ it means light purple colour so I had to go for the purple one this time.
Here is my Lilac sweet in Lilac colour.
The Food Market that I had suddenly decided to have a stall has ended three days ago. In the last three years since I started making Japanese sweet for Kimono shop I have heard that so many people saying ‘I looove Mochi!’. As I said in my posts in the past I had believed that Western people didn’t like Mochi and I was wondering ‘is it really true that these people love Mochi?’ So, my mission was finding out ‘How much do people looove Mochi’!
It is always hard work to prepare food for selling but Making Japanese sweets is very time consuming work and I wasn’t sure I how could be ready until the actual Market day. When I have a stall in a food market I normally prepare all kinds of Japanese sweets but this time I could concentrate on creating different flavours for Mochi and that was a good thing for me.
‘Mochi Heaven’ Stall in a Food Market
These sweets in the photo were the main line-ups on my stall.