Class description

From strawberries-in-the-snow gelatin to wind-in-the-pines cake, and
crossing through red bean paste and green tea flavorings in everything
from steamed bread buns to ice cream, there’s a reason the Iron Chefs
thought squid ink was a viable dessert ingredient. Learn to make Japanese
desserts and snacks including mochi (rice cakes), dango (dumplings on
a stick with sweet soy or red bean sauces on top), vegan-friendly “gelatin”
desserts set with agar-agar rather than animal products, and red bean
or green tea ice cream. (No squid ink here — I promise!) Class meets
Nov. 21.

[PPT version]

Class outline

  • Discussion of categories of desserts, a lot of them were based on
    what went well with matcha for tea ceremony (or included matcha in
    the flavoring, a la green tea ice cream) and that ovens didn’t exist,
    meaning steamed buns are much more common than cakes in history and
    most houses don’t have anything larger than a microwave so a lot of
    cake mixes are designed for toaster ovens.
  • Sample recipes to make and taste:
  • Mochi:
    • Traditional methods
    • Modern methods
    • Traditional flavorings and toppings: Kinako, matcha, yomogi, ube,
      koshi-an, ichigo-daifuku (strawberry), sesame seeds
    • Non-traditional flavorings and toppings: Cafe au lait, chocolate,
      custard cream, peach, Mayan chocolate (my invention)
    • Traditional constructions: Daifuku (stuffed), sakura-mochi (wrapped
      in a cherry tree leaf), kashiwa-mochi (wrapped in an oak leaf),
      Abekawa-mochi (grilled and rolled in kinako), yaki-mochi (grilled)
  • Dango
    • Anko: red bean paste sauce
    • Mitarashi: grilled, soy-based sauce
  • Dorayaki: pancake sandwich filled with bean paste and a chestnut
  • Kuri-kinton
  • Kuri-manjuu
  • Green tea ice cream
  • Umeshu-kan: plum wine gelatin