Dolling up, the simplest sweet for Hina doll festival

Hinamatsuri is arriving soon. Japan is full of cute girly treats and retro dolls.
Maybe my little stars belong to another festival, and I have not the best colors of cups, but that doesn’t matter. I’m giving you an easy recipe, then you decorate as you like.

You need boiled azuki beans (or other beans if you want), sugar/honey, powdered agar agar, a little brandy.
For boiling the beans, click here.

Take a cup of beans, put them in a bowl with their broth, add sugar to taste, a tbs of brandy. Heat 30 seconds in micro-wave. Let one hour.
Reheat 1 minute in micro-wave. When it’s very hot, stir in 1 tbs of agar. Reheat 30 seconds. Pour in little cups. Decorate.
Let cool.

Other wagashi tea sweet recipes (click here).

September’s round up

A little retrospective about last month.
In September, the readers’ favorites are :

Sprouted hemp seed bread, improved version
Simple 10 minute falafels
Milk your beans (make soy milk)
Eating like a queen : bouchée à la reine
Yaki ika, Ika yaki (Japanese calamari)
Kabocha and carrot kibbeh

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Sweets :

Farz fou ! Crazy pagan baking.

Guilt free chocolate cake
Kabocha polka-dot yokan

Hey, the kabocha is getting popular as Autumn is looming…

Some more :

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Desserts :

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Mizu yokan

A refreshing Summer Japanese sweet. Simple and delicious. The traditional yokan is thicker, sweeter. For the hot season, water (mizu) is added.

The mizu yokan can be seen in many shapes. In small cups, inside bamboo stalks. I just made a block.

I took the boiled azuki beans (more here), their cooking broth and made a sauce in the blender. I obtained 1/2 liter of thick liquid. I flavored at my taste with kurozato black sugar, cane sugar and lakanto sweetener. Beside, I boiled 400 ml of water with 1 pack (for 500 ml) of agar agar. Blend it in. Poured in mold. Waited.
When it was cooled and solid, refrigerated :

It’s very easy to cut. Melty texture.

Enjoy with matcha (ceremony tea) or chilled sencha green tea.

Mizu-yokan and nashi

The simple wagashi.

It is “mizu-yokan”, water-yokan. Yokan is the thick bean jam block. This is a lighter hot season version, that was often molded in bamboo stalks. It’s made of koshi-an (fine azuki bean paste, here sweetened with kuro mitsu), water and gelatine.
If you are vegetarian, you can replace the gelatine with agar-agar, but it won’t be melty.

This is a fancy version, with sticks of raw nashi pear.

Eating the mizu-yokan at twilight :

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts.

Wagashi saga. Full edition.

DSC01074-002mikan daifuku

The Japanese are sweet lovers. Now, all sorts of Western and Asian sweets can be found in big cities, and there are many talented bakers.

Wagashi means “Japanese sweets”, and it refers to the snack, usually sweet, served with tea. Eating desserts is not the custom. You eat lunch at 11~12 , then at 3 pm, you have a sweet with tea.

murasaki hanamame

The bulk of wagashi are made on a base of 2 ingredients : rice and azuki beans. And the artisans carve hundreds of refined designs -inspired by nature and seasonal events. So you may have the impression that they all taste the same and are only decorative. Actually, even in traditional shops, there exist many other flavors, sesame, roast soy beans, sweet potato, nuts, yuzu, chestnut, ume plum, cherry blossom, matcha, dry fruits, cassia cinnamon…
I have no ambition to compete in refinement of making with the famous shops. I have them on occasions, not too often as the quality ones are not cheap. Making my snacks is mostly a hobby and a way to avoid the supermarket range ones.
My home-made wagashi don’t always follow the traditional recipes, but I try to indicate when I adapt. Usually, I want mines to be less sweetened.

BASIC RECIPES FOR HOME-MADE WAGASHI

Sweet pastes
There are several sweet pastes called “an”.
“anko” the most common is made of red azuki beans. Other beans are used too, white for “shiro an”, and also red, yellow, black…
“kimi-an” is yellow and egg flavored. “kuri-an” is made with chestnut. Etc

Cooking azuki beans

Making anko (brown filling) from the beans. Tsubuan and koshian. Easy recipe.

Making kimi-an (yellow filling, with egg)

Rice, rice flour, processed rice flours

Making o-hagi, the basic wagashi (from rice)

Making daifuku mochi from mochiko (from mochi flour)

Making kashiwa-mochi (from joshinko rice flour)

Other flours

kuzu, kudzu :
kuzumochi
warabi (bracken) :
warabi mochi
agar agar :
tokoroten

Home-made wagashi

Autumn

 

Gold and Chestnut : kuri kinton

Kuri, the sweet (2nd style of kuri kinton)

Kinako-bo and mugi-cha

Polka-dot kabocha yokan

Making o-hagi

Mizu-yokan and nashi

After-Eight Daifuku Mochi

Choco-coco hari-nezumi

Winter

Zenzai

Azuki filled “sweet potato”

Mushi-pan

Ichigo daifuku mochi

Zenzai with yaki-mochi

Ginger kuzu-yu

Spring

choco-chip matcha-an daifuku

Tokoroten cherry…

Kimi-an dango, Japanese sweets like pearls of gold

Tamago-chan, cute egg wagashi

Summer

Dango

Lemon snow-flake mochi

Mochinnamon bun

Cubes of refreshment : heart-heaven in black sweetness

Ubatama

Okinawan mochi

warabi mochi (classic recipe)

ichigo-dama (strawberry pearls)

Others

Setsubun (start of Spring festival)

Casual tea.

About wagashi and mochi from the shop… (Summer)

Yatsuhashi for sakura season (from the shop)

Assorted Spring wagashi (from the shop)

Kashiwa-mochi for Children Day, May 5th (from the shop)

okaki mochi

noshi mochi

Other dessert compilations :

Crazy and Healthy Sweets (compilation)

French desserts – Dessert francais (compilation)