Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Japanese Wagashi ~和菓子~

After going to Holland Park, I felt like making some Japanse wagashi.
Wagashi is traditional Japanese confectionary, many made of glutinous rice & azuki bean paste. 
Earlier in April, I salt-pickled some cherry blossoms & I haven't been using them yet. 
I did try making cherry blossom tea, I think the taste was somehow disappointing, not as elegant as I thought. 
But it was a pleasure to see the flower blossoming in the water. 
Also, the flowers will be great for cake decorating.

There are different types of wagashi, I make the simple one: mochi. 
Simple but delicious & full of surprise. 
First thing, the filling can be anything you like, from ice creams to peanut butter. 
Second, if you're skilled & creative, you can try make the mochi into flowers, animals etc. Being lazy on a Sunday afternoon, I would like to enjoy it with a cup of tea with minimal works.
Matcha filling
200g tinned butter beans (drain water) 
150g granulated sugar 
3 tbsp green tea powder  

Drain away the water, blend butter beans & sugar in food processor until thick & smooth. 
Add in the green tea powder & mix well.  

I substituted the sugar with cherry blossom sugar (recipe followed at the end) to make cherry blossom filling without green tea powder.   

150g glutinous rice flour 
70g icing sugar 
200ml water 
Potato starch for dusting 

Mix rice flour, sugar & water in a large bowl. 
Heat in the microwave for 2 min, stir the dough. 
Heat again in the microwave for 1 min, stir quickly until the dough becomes smooth & shiny.  

Dust the working surface & hands, use a wet spoon to remove a chunk from the hot dough.  

A - Cherry blossom filling 
Flatten the dough & put a spoonful of cherry blossom filling. Wrap the mochi dough around it. Decorate with salt-pickled cherry blossom.

B - Match flower 
Take 10g of matcha filling & mochi, mix well until smooth. Round the dough, flatten it slightly, use the edge of knife gently press around the dough to make a flower shape, then decorate with red icing.

C - Pink shell + azuki bean paste 
Dissolve pink colouring with the mochi dough for pink coloured shell.

D - Matcha filling  

Cherry Blossom Sugar 
50g fresh cherry blossom petals 
100g granulated sugar (white)

Pack the petals & sugar, then keep in a small glass jar.
Stored in a dark & cool place, used within 1 or 2 weeks.

Substitute cherry blossom with rose or other edible flowers.

1 comment:

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