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November 25, 2016

The Art of Japanese Desserts

By Stuart Turner

What could be more beautiful than Japanese desserts and sweets?
Much like the French, the Japanese show a passion for baking and confectionery as a form of art, which isn't surprising seeing how much attention to detail is placed in the making of other Japanese foods such as sushi and bento!
The Japanese make food with their heart, soul and all of their skill in it. So you won't find anything quite like a British bread and butter pudding in Japanese cuisine!
Instead the Japanese use baking methods that we might find quite complicated, with the use of special ingredients and tecniques that require practice to perfect.
Those techniques are evident in the making of mochi or Japanese cheesecakes, which are a completely different texture to our own. 
The Japanese also have a long tradition of making small, decorative sweets which are called wagashi. These are often served alongside tea, as a small snack. They can be highly decorative, and employ a number of techniques and ingredients. Some are made with bean paste or azuki beans, and many are made with jelly and fruit and vegetable pastes, including sweet potato! 
The picture below shows some traditional decorative wagashi.
In Japan you'll find even the everyday sweets can be decorative. Just take a look at a few more images:
It's evident if you want to be a Japanese chef, you also need to be an artist!

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