I apologize that I have been absent for quite a while. I went back to Japan at the end of December for spending New Year’s Day with my family and also for meeting up with some friends whom I haven’t seen for many many years. I was hoping that I could make some sweets whilst I was staying in Japan but it was difficult to work in somebody else’ kitchen where you don’t have the right tools and materials you normally use. I ended up not making any sweets there. So here is my first sweet in 2019.
Raspberry & Cream in Meringue Style
Today is the 14th of February and as you can guess I created this sweet for Valentine’s Day! I have been thinking some possible designs for this occasion such as something with heart shape. But as that was a too obvious and well used idea I wanted to make something a little more subtle to express Love this year. I had one image in my mind. It was perfectly swirled soft pink meringues with a softly whipped cream sandwiched in between and I wanted to create this as Japanese sweet.
A few days ago I received a private order for my Japanese sweets. The client wanted me to deliver 15 Wagashi sweets to her. Apart from the specific request that she would like to have 4 Daffodils and the rest should be ‘Mochi’ type sweets I was given the honour to select the suitable sweets that would be favoured by western people. So the sweets I picked and packed were like this.
Spring Gift Set
When I had a stall in a Christmas Market in December, it was the day that it snowed all day in London. It is very rare to see snow and it is even rarer that snow stayed on the ground over night here.
Japan, where I came from, is a geographically long country lying from North to South with a high mountain range in the midlle almost like a back bone. That was why we have completely different weather depends on where it is. During winter time some places get lots of snow fall and people in such places have some special customs to spend their time. Apart from the obvious choice of Snowman, children in a snowy country make a cute thing with snow. It is a Snow Rabbit that is simply a snow ball made into a oval shape with two leaves as ears and two red berries as eyes to make a face.
Mochi Snow Rabbit
So I made my Snow Rabbit but it is not the traditional one with real snow. It was with ‘Mochi’ as my new Japanese sweet.
As a part of the story of ‘Hanami’ (Cherry Blossom viewing) I have introduced a sweet called ‘Hanami-Dango’ in April. It is a tri-coloured Mochi on a skewer which is a traditional and popular sweet in Japan. Yes, it is a tradition that Hanami-Dango is composed of three balls in green, white and pink colours. I also explained why it has to be in those colours and why in that order. However, It is my nature to try arranging things to create something different and Dango is no exception so I made un-traditional Dango.
This is Mochi Dango with two types of Mochi and toppings.
Valentine’s Day has arrived. I have introduced my ‘Raspberry Chocolate Heart’ for this special day in my previous post. Whilst making the Chocolate Heart I got an idea for improving the look of the sweet.
Raspberry & Chocolate Square, Wagashi
This is it! It is using exactly the same ingredients with the previous Raspberry Chocolate Heart but I made it into a little more western sweet look.
Instead of making the shape into a heart, I placed a pink heart on top.
Valentine’s Day is coming. Surely the sweet on the Day has to be Chocolate. According to me, if it is Chocolate sweet the flavour should be Raspberry.
So I made Japanese sweet iwith Chocolate and Raspberry flavour.
Raspberry Chocolate Heart, Wagashi
I have to remind you that this is not a normal Chocolate sweet. It is still a Japanese sweet ‘Wagashi’ with Chocolate flavour. So the ingredients of the outer part is mainly White Beans with Chocolate Powder.
I have been on a quest for searching a great way of using ‘Houjicha‘ Japanese Green Tea. When I saw a photo of Parfait dessert on a magazine I thought “This is it! It must be definitely tasty if I make this with Houjicha flavour”. I also wanted to add some colour and texture to it. As I posted earlier I have been harvesting Raspberries in my garden so I decided to use some into this dessert. With soft, melting but slightly crunchy texture, roasted Green Tea aroma and fresh sweet and sour soft fruit … I think it is perfect to combine Houjicha and Raspberries all together to make a Parfait.
Houjicha Latte Parfait with Raspberries
It is a great dessert for a dinner with friends. The best thing about this dish is that it is so simple to make. No fiddliness and no failure. I added some Raspberry and ready-made Meringue but you can use any other soft fruit or you don’t need to add anything at all. It is delicious as it is.
Yay, it is Raspberry time. It has been raining a lot almost every day here in London so I hardly water plants in my garden.
Whilst I was not even going out to my garden my Raspberries gradually started to appear. They were small and green at the beginning and became bigger …
Rosy Sake Jelly with Raspberry Sauce
This is the sweet dish I made for the Sake Cooking competition. The theme of my dishes for the competition was ‘Sake for Eating’. This dessert was a food but I wanted to put some reminder that Sake is alcoholic ‘Drink’. That is why I wanted to use a wine glass for serving this dessert.
My thoughts behind this dish were
1. I wanted to keep all the flavour and taste of Sake in my dessert without losing any by heating Sake. That is the reason I decided to make Jelly.
2. I like flavour of Sake, however, I wanted something ‘more than just Sake’. I infused Sake with Rose Petals in order to enhance the delicate Sake flavour. The consequence of that made the Jelly has fragrant Rose smell and also slightly Rosy pink colour. I managed to infuse Sake in both flavour and colour.
3. It has been changing in recent years but Sake still has the image as it is the drink for men more than for women. I wanted to create something which suggests that Sake could be something romantic.
Rosy Sake Jelly with Raspberry Sauce