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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Hichigiri for Hinamatsuri

Usa hinaIt 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 HichigiriΒ  (εΌ•εƒεˆ‡) means literally ‘pull and cut into a thousand’. I could imagine that the Palace kitchen was so busy.πŸ˜†

Hichigiri

So this year I tried creating these sweets for Hinamatsuri.

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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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Mochi Ginkgo and the Sweets Order

Oh, No! It’s already middle of December! The final month of a year. We have only two weeks before the brand new year starts. The time seems to pass more and more quickly every year. Is it the sign of aging? It has been quite a mild winter so far, but now the weather has become wet and cold which is the typical winter in England. Before it became this wintery weather I received an order of my sweets for a Tea & Sweet Tasting event held at a Tea shop My Cup of Tea. The tea shop ordered two types of ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweets, so I decided to make one ‘Nerikiri’ and the other ‘Mochi’. I wanted them to be something pretty and also in autumn colour.

Mochi Ginkgo

This is one of the sweets I made for this Tea & Sweet Tasting event order. Yellow Ginkgo ‘Icho’ and Red Japanese ‘Momiji’ Maple leaves are the most significant autumn colour so I thought serving sweets in Ginkgo design would be perfect in November. The sweets look quite similar to the sweets I made last year. Last year’s one was made with a different type of Japanese sweet pastry ‘Nerikiri’ which is easier to create shapes, but the sweets I made this time were made of ‘Mochi’.

Mochi Ginkgo3

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Cream Matcha Mochi

As Autumn gets gradually deepen I always feel like having strong Matcha Green Tea. It may be because it is quite a special season for many Japanese as it is the season of Autumn colour and that reminds us of a scenary in Kyoto, our old capital town that looks great in red and yellow fallen leaves.

Matcha is quite bitter tea so you have to have some sweet before sipping the tea. However, this Autumn I made sweet with Matcha powder instead of drinking Matcha Tea. I used plenty of Tea powdermixed in to a Mochi layer and I also dusted the outside of the sweet with lots of Matcha powder. My Mochi became so green and when you see the round shape covered with this beautiful green, it looks as if it is a stone covered with moss in a Japanese garden in Kyoto.

Cream Matcha Mochi

It is a sweet that has a soft Mochi layer wrapping up whipped fresh cream with Sweet Azuki Bean Paste inside. The outer Mochi layer itself is made with lots of Matcha powder but I finished it up with plenty of Matcha powder dusted around of the Mochi.

Cream Matcha Mochi 1

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Strawberry & Cream Mochi

It seems like when June comes (it means when summer comes to England) I always think about Strawberries & Cream. It may be because it is the month that Wimbledon Tennis Tournament is coming nearer which is famous for ‘Strawberries & Cream’. Last year I made ‘Strawberries & Cream Cup‘ as a Japanese sweet and I made another version of it for this June.

Strawberry & Cream Mochi

They might look like cupcakes but these are Mochi type ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweets. This is a Japanese Sweet that goes as close to a Western sweet as it can get. This time I received good revue from the people who tasted this sweet. They said that “it tastes exactly like Strawberries & Cream!”.

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Happy Wagashi Day, 2018

I thought it was just yesterday that I had introduced sixteen of Japanese sweets I had made in 2016. Today, the 16th of June, is another ‘Wagashi’ (Japanese Sweet) Day that people place sixteen sweets as an offering to the God and wish for good health and happiness.Β  I am not going to explain about the custom this year so if you are interested to know about the Wagashi Day, please read my post last year.

Since the Wagashi Day in last year a lot of unfortunate sad incidents have happened in the world. I just really wish we will have a safer and happier world by the Wagashi Day next year.

These are the sixteen Japanese sweets out of all the sweets I made in year 2017.

Have a Happy 🍑 Wagashi Day!!