Cross Manju on Good Friday, Easter

We’ve been havingΒ  the perfect weather for the Bank Holiday. When Easter approaches I always want to make Hot Cross Buns and dream to have it with a huge dollop of clotted cream and raspberry jam. However, last year I wanted to make something similar but also quite different from the usual buns. As a Japanese sweet maker I thought I should try making something similar as a Japanese sweet so I made Hot Steamed Cross Manju. It was a steamed buns with Azuki bean paste filling inside.

Cross Manju

For this Easter I wanted to go for a more Japanese sweet and made this one. It still may look quite like a hot cross bun, however, it is a totally Japanese sweet this time. It might be difficult to see its scale but the size of each sweet is very small and it’s about 4cm diameter.

Croman2-2

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Plum Flower Mochi

It is a little early for expecting ‘Sakura’ cherry blossom but you can see pretty ‘Ume’ Plum flowers in Japan. The flower looks quite similar to cherry blossom but much tinier and with a intoxicating sweet scent. The petal comes from white to dark pink and quite often you can find flowers in different colours on the same tree.

‘Ume’ Plum Flower Mochi

So I made Plum Flower Mochi as one of my January sweets.

Plum 1

It’s got a soft gooey Mochi type sweet as the outer layer that is made into a shape of a plum flower. The sweet white bean paste filling is placed inside as well as homemade plum jam.

Plum 2

This sweet is Vegan and Gluten free.

This sweet was served at a Matcha Bar at the Havan Store during January (sorry to post this information too late) and I am very pleased to hear that it has received a great feedback. I am preparing different sweets for February now so please stay tuned!

Strawberry Mochi

My ‘Mochi’ making report continues. Recently I made Strawberry Mochi. It is one of my favourite Japanese sweet. Soft Mochi wrapped up the filling of sweet Adzuki (Red) bean paste with a fresh juicy strawberry. At the beginning of summer I made very similar sweet, actually almost identical, which I named Strawberry Daifuku. It was also a Mochi sweet with a fresh strawberry but filled with sweet white bean paste. The contrast of white paste and the strawberry’s red in colour was great. Both Adzuki bean paste and white bean paste goes very well with a strawberry and Mochi so when I make a strawberry Mochi I always have to think a little to decide which bean paste I should use.

Strawberry (Daifuku) Mochi

So this is the latest Strawberry Mochi with sweet Adzuki (Red) bean paste.

Strawberry mochi

Whichever the sweet bean paste is, Strawberry Mochi tastes always heavenly great with a cup of tea!

Japanese Birthday Cake

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.

Birthday Cake2

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The Answer is … Zunda Mochi

Mystery edamameIn my previous post I set up a Mystery Sweet Quiz.Β  It was a simple guessing game to answer what kind of flavour/ingredient this sweet has for the centre filling. Maybe because I posted it on a weekend, it did not get many people’s attention on my blog but I posted the same quiz on my Instagram, twitter and facebook too and several people joined to this game there. Thank you Guys!

(Hint 1) My first hint was this photo of the sweet. I also mentioned that the ingredient was something becoming quite popular in the UK.

The answer, ingredient, is getting really well known in London so I thought somebody would guess it easily, but nobody did.

(Hint 2) The outer look and colour of sweet is usually associated with the flavour of the central filling for my sweets

With this hint people could still not give me the right answer, however, some named quite unusual ingredients in a green colour that I would like to try using sometimes in my sweet making.

(Hint 3) The ingredient is not unusual in the UK anymore and you can find it in a super market, either cooked or frozen these days.

With this third hint one person got the answer quite right. But have you?

Zunda Cream Mochi

So, the answer is that this sweet is Zunda Mochi!

Zunda Mochi

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Weekend Photo – Mystery Sweet

It’s another Mystery Sweet Quiz time for you!

Here is a Mochi type Japanese sweet I made this summer and I’d like to know ‘What do you think the flavour of this Mochi sweet is’.

It’s got a central filling which is made with some ingredient that is becoming quite popular in the UK (and maybe Western worldwide). It is not that unusual to see this ingredient being used as sweet in Japan, but it might be a little surprise for British people.

I look forward to hearing what you think.πŸ˜‰

Mystery edamame

Have a lovely weekend.