I developed a tasty sweet last summer. I received a great compliment from the friends who had it. I was very happy with it and planned to post it here soon after but … I didn’t get round to it yet. However, I made a very similar one and maybe this one is a better version for some people. Because it’s Dairy Free this time. I re-designed the sweet as one of two Japanese sweets for February.
Coconut Choco Mochi
It is a Mochi (Rice Cake) type of Japanese sweet. The soft and gooey outer layer of Mochi is flavoured with Chocolate powder. What the outer Mochi layer wraps up is the difference between the first verision and this version. It is Coconut Cream and sweet Azuki Bean Paste with Desiccated Coconut on top.
Winter in Japan is very cold and snowy but once Spring comes all the plants in the field and mountain start to grow rapidly. As you might know already Japanese like to add some seasonal touch into food and it can be a shape or some flavour added to create a taste of the delightful season.
One of the wild Plants we traditionally add into making Mochi is ‘Yomogi’ leaves. It is a type of Mugworts (Artemisia indica var. maximowiczii) and it used to grow anywhere by the road or field. The upper side of leaves is dark green and the lower side is white-ish colour covered with tiny hair like structure. When you mix the leaves into a sweet it gives a dark green colour but what we like the most about using this plant is the very distinctive slightly bitter flavour that it gives. When it’s added to sweet and combined with sweet bean paste the bitterness of the leaves enhances the sweetness of the bean taste and creates the harmony in flavour.
I created this Yomogi Mochi as one of the sweets for having during the ‘Hanami’ Cherry Blossom viewing occasion.
I know the Easter has gone, but never mind.
I like making bread. My love in bread making started from making Hot Cross Buns several years ago. Since then I always make some Hot Cross Buns during Easter time. Although I said that I did not have enough time to make any special sweet for the Easter in my previous post I managed to make Hot Cross Buns. Without Hot Cross Buns Spring never comes to my kitchen.
In normal Hot Cross Buns I like to add several spices and orange zest. I love the smell when you toast it. However, this time I did it differently. I made “Matcha Hot Cross Buns”.
Matcha Hot Cross Buns