Casual tea (via Gourmande in Osaka)

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Tea ceremony without tea.
Oops… no, no, it’s : Ceremony tea without a ceremony. My 4 o’clock. That should be 3 o’clock if I was sporting my kimono and all.

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Spring tea sweets, from the shop

These wagashi sweets are beautifully shaped, not very flavored and very sweet… they are designed for the tea ceremony. Patterns and colors vary with the season.

The moon in the night.

The arrow.

The flower.

The fish, probably koi carps as it is the season of “koi nobori“, when families that have little boys fly kites in shape of koi carps at their windows.

The flower and the fish are made with the neri-kiri technique. It’s a very soft paste, easy to carve… but very fragile.

Inside, it’s koshi-an, the smooth anko (azuki bean paste).

The eye is made of kanten (agar-agar).

The arrow is also filled with the same koshi-an.

The white part is more cake-like. It’s like karukan mochi. It contains yama-imo potato.

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)

Casual tea

Tea ceremony without tea.
Oops… no, no, it’s : Ceremony tea without a ceremony. My 4 o’clock. That should be 3 o’clock if I was sporting my kimono and all.

It’s “training matcha”. Yes, they sell some cheaper for the persons that want to train for sado (ritualized tea serving). I admire the big ceremonial… but I think it’s like theater, not real life. Once a year is enough.
I didn’t train… I don’t own any tea equipment, my matcha looks like a bubble bath (no I didn’t put soap LOL) and I didn’t even invest into a wagashi “spoon” (that costs a misery…I forgot to buy them).

Before the tea, you need a wagashi (Japanese sweet) reflecting the season mood. For early Autumn, ohagi mochi.

Some Gourmandes have 2 sweets…

Making the ohagi mochi

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