First DIY Sweet: Hydrangea Edition

When I lived in Tokyo I went to a few classes to make Japanese sweets so it wasn’t my absolute first attempt at wagashi but it was my first solo attempt! All I can say is, I further understand why this is a specialized profession.

The pink color is a result of mixing red cabbage and lemon juice, it was really interesting to experiment and that is one aspect I would like to try again. Inside, I made a mochi ball, or dango, which is surrounded by white bean paste and then topped with the coloured jellies using agar agar.

So similar to the hydrangea・ajisai・紫陽花 I showed earlier, this is a pretty classic seasonal sweet that might be found in sweet shops when the hydrangeas begin to bloom.

I might need a few more tutorials before my next attempt, though I did learn a lot and have a fun doing it. I guess the bar has been set pretty high by all my usual sweet shops!

Little Sprouts

I’ve had this plant since moving to Fukuoka and it took me a while but I finally think I understand its light needs. It seems so happy right now (most of the plants are loving the sun and warmth in the apartment now) but it recently surprised me with a little shoot, stretching straight up. Seems like a good omen.

One of the popular early spring foods in Japan is takenoko, or bamboo shoots. So many of the produce stands have them now. I’ve made them a couple times, simmered with soy sauce and mirin. This adorable little rendering is from Rabbit Moon・兎月 and was just as fun to eat as it was to gaze at lovingly.

A Pink Mood

I found this spring hanabira mochi・春花びら餅 at the supermarket. It seems to be the spring twist on the New Years classic hanabira mochi. It’s a simple mochi wrapped around pink colored white bean paste. To be honest, I think the supermarket made it up but thats ok! It was cute and delicious. The flower shop across the street had the sweetest little roses. The whole city seems to be blooming with flowers right now so I couldn’t resist bringing some inside.

Spring Theme Remains Strong

hanami dango with orchids

It’s almost cherry blossom season, many peoples favourite time in Japan. This will be my first sakura season in Fukuoka, and I’m so excited. It reminds me of my first year in Tokyo, running around all over the city trying to see all the beautiful places at once.

This mini hanami dango ・花見団子 is from Kichi Zoh・吉蔵 and is sakura, mugwort, and red bean flavoured. I can’t wait for more of this seasons sweets and flowers.

March Snack of the Month: Ichigo Daifuku

Return of the snack calendar! I went a little all out this afternoon; 2 drinks and 2 sweets. Of course matcha and the Match sweet, strawberry daifuku. I also had some green muscat grapes and made some 桜茶・sakura tea! It’s just hot water poured over salt-pickled sakura, or cherry, blossoms. It has a nice umami saltiness that balances well with the sweet foods and bitter matcha. A perfect break!

Pink Blossoms

Unquestionably, sakura blossoms are the most popular blossom in Japan but I have a soft spot for ume, or plum as well. The colours range from snow white to near-red or fuchsia. There are some very pretty places in walking distance to see them, but I couldn’t resist bringing them inside too.

They look very sweet behind my little white bean sakura mochi ・左近の桜 from Rabbit Moon・兎月.