Violet Ohagi

So this recipe came about because I had a lot of red bean paste, and I had to use it up somehow. One of the first things that came to mind when I was trying to figure out what to do with the red bean paste was ohagi. Ohagi is a type of Japanese wagashi(confection)…

Yuzu-Castella Strawberry Shortcake

One of my favorite childhood memories growing up was coming back from a long day at school, and being greeted by my mom with some sort of baked good from the local Taiwanese bakery. Sometimes it was cheesecake, other times, mont blanc, but one particular favorite of mine is castella. Castella is a fluffy sponge…

Hanami cake

Hanami roughly translates into “flower viewing” from Japanese. It usually refers to the blooming of cherry blossoms, or sakura, in early April, and signifies new beginnings. One thing I love about hanami, besides how gorgeous the cherry blossom-filled skies look during that time of year, is of course the desserts that come with it. Cherry…

Shaymin Nerikiri

I would be lying if I said this recipe was easy. Namely because it took me 4 hours from start to finish. A lot of it, not going to lie, is just the amount of time it took perfecting the color and shape of these little nuggets. That and I tried to make a half-batch…

Matcha purin dorayaki

I have done dorayaki in the past, and I have even done purin-stuffed dorayaki as well, but this is a slightly different take on the usual. Typically, Japanese purin(also called pudding), is made of a baked custard topped with a layer of caramel, similar if not exactly the same as Mexican flan. However, my take…

“Fever Dream”: a plated dessert

I literally named this dessert after my favorite mxmtoon song, “Fever Dream”. For me, that term represents memories and milestones of your life, past, present, and future, just melting together into one moment. So I wanted to do that in this dessert! For starters, I wanted to use cherries, since my birthday cake growing up…

Sweet potato and salted duck egg Hiyoko manju

I have actually wanted to make Hiyoko manju since I was a high schooler. These little buns that are shaped like birdies(manju being a type of bun and hiyoko being the Japanese word for ‘chick’ or baby bird), they just looked so cute yet difficult to make. However, after getting as much wagashi and bun…

Rainbow dango(suama)

So I was brainstorming different rainbow desserts for Pride this year, and I literally came up with the idea to do these when I was walking through my local Japanese grocery store(which I frequent a lot these days), and stumbled upon Fugetsu-Do‘s rainbow dango, also called suama. For those unfamiliar, Fugetsu-Do is a highly popular…

Chocolate-chestnut-matcha entremet

I was mostly inspired to make this because I wanted to make a really woody and vibrant-green dessert. Mostly because with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I had to get together as many green, Irish, beer, or gold-themed dessert ideas together as possible. So this would be one of them. For my components, we have…

Tsuki no Hikari wagashi

I really came up with this dessert because I was inspired by snow globes initially. I wanted to make this pretty snow globe wagashi situation, and that was what this would have been originally. But on the night I was making it, I looked up and saw a full moon peeking out of the clouds,…

Kabosu dango

So I had no idea what kabosu was until the end of 2020, when I was at a Japanese grocery store, and I found a bottle of kabosu juice. Looking at it, I thought it was like the Filipino citrus calamansi, based on the green exterior and bright yellow interior. But researching into it more,…

Black sesame purin dorayaki

Dorayaki were one of the first wagashi I ever really came to adore. Mostly because being raised in America, I love pancakes, and dorayaki just being a pancake sandwich, was super appealing to me! I wanted to make a special dorayaki and I actually had this idea for over a year, but never was able…

Apple butter daifuku

I made these a while ago when I went apple picking and cider pressing with some friends! I wanted to use the apples and cider in a fun or creative way, and that’s when the idea to make daifuku, or stuffed mochi came from. Typically, daifuku is stuffed with red bean paste, but in my…

Tsuki no Usagi tartlets

I always loved the myth of Tsuki no Usagi, or the moon rabbit. The idea that there is a rabbit on the moon, making mochi, just sounded like really cool to me, and I would take that rabbit over the Easter bunny or the Trix Rabbit any day! I wanted to take Japanese wagashi and…

Yo-Yo- Tsuri: a plated dessert

When I was conceptualizing this dessert, I was mostly just focusing on what things come to mind when I think of the summer. In this case, I remembered Omasturi(お祭) which is a festival in Japan where they celebrate the village gods(御神輿) with games and other celebrations. One such game was where you fish for water…

Fireflies in the night: a plated dessert

So when I first acquired pandan-buko extract, I had to play around with it a ton, since I had very little familiarity with it. Upon testing it with dango, I found out that it turns things green because of how strong of a green coloring that extract had. So I wanted to capitalize on that,…

Kinako chiffon sandwiches with black rice cream and mochi

These were really just my take on a dorayaki sandwich. I wanted to do something wagashi-inspired, and I also wanted to try baking chiffon cake in circles, like a whoopie pie, so that’s how this dessert came about! I used kinako, a toasted soy bean powder, to flavor the actual chiffon cake itself, while I…

Eventide: a wagashi

I have been meaning to try making a mizugashi wagashi for a while. Mizugashi refers to clear water/translucent finish, which these desserts have. I really wanted to make one that was naturally colored, gluten-free, and vegan, just to embrace the beauty of nature, something that wagashi tries to embrace and capture. For mine, I used…

Marimo truffles

I love how the Japanese manage to make everything cute. From clione (basically sea slugs, but they’re called sea angels), to daruma (those giant red and white dolls with the crazy eyes and mustaches), to marimo (little aquatic moss balls that some children even keep as pets). Marimo are super adorable, just because they’re perfectly…

Feelings of make-pretend: a plated dessert

I came up with this dessert half out of needing to get rid of my leftover vegan macaron components, and half because I just wanted to do something playful and elegant. With what I already had made, being the ice cream and the gelee, I was able to come up with a couple different ideas,…