This post was planned for a long time, but I was ill during a complete week, only capable of moving from my bed to the sofa, and from the sofa to my bed. You see the picture.
But the sun is back and I’m full of energy again! I can’t wait for spring, eager to see flowers, colors and sun again.
First, I was going to make some Chinese Moon Cakes to celebrate the Chinese New Year. But I’ve changed my mind after the Lisa’s Mochi Daifuku and when Pinterest reminded me Wagashi, those sweet Japanese dessert that celebrates the new seasons.
Wagashi means literally “Japanese Dessert”. They are served on tea ceremony. Those sweets are not that tasty for a good reason : the Wagashi are not supposed to cover the tea flavor.
Obviously, the preparation is a huge program! When you start making some Japanese food, you understand what patience means. And it’s with all my humble respect to Japanese masters that I’ve started making these.
Wagashi are made with beans. Red beans for the garnish (Hazuki Koshian), and white beans for the pastry (Nerikiri). Notice that it doesn’t contains any gluten!
You start by preparing the white beans to obtain a sort of flour (Called”GO” and “SARASHIAN” (not Kardashian)), which remains the velvet texture. Then you transform it into a pastry, that looks like marzipan, but not with the same taste of course. (Luckily, I hate marzipan flavor).
The tiny beans peeling
It takes foreeeeeeever, but when comes the time of making the shapes, this is where the fun begins. Sitting quietly, discovering the shapes underneath your fingers and playing with colors… I spent a magical moment, zen and meditative.
No recipe this time, but I leave you those videos, which explains really well the steps!
I have used “European” white beans and Japanese red beans that I’ve found in Japanese store. I think it’s possible to find some ready-made Azuki Koshian (sweet red beans pastry), but regarding the Nerikiri base, you’re on your one!
And for making the shapes, I’ve used what I could find (chopsticks, spoons, spatula etc).