Add the white sugar and boiling water to a bowl and dissolve the sugar. Add the red food colouring by dripping it off the end of a skewer. When you have a faint pink colour, stop and mix in the domyojiko.
Cover the bowl in cling film and microwave for 3 minutes. Take the bowl out, give it a stir and put back in for a further 3 minutes. Take it out again and leave the wrap on to allow the mixture to steam for 10 minutes.
During this time, separate the anko into 12 equal portions and roll into balls. According to the instructions on the packet of sakura leaves, either rinse with water or leave them to soak.
Separate the mixture from Step 2 into 12 equal portions. Place 1 portion on top of a sheet of cling film and using wet hands, stretch it out thinly. Place a ball of anko on top.
Use the cling film to wrap the domyoji-ko mixture around the red bean paste and form into a ball. Then peel off the cling film and use wet hands to press it into an oval shape.
Remove the stem from the cherry leaf and wrap around the mochi so that the vein side is showing on top.
Story Behind this Recipe
Steaming the mochi and following the steps written on the domyojiko packet takes too long! I've heard a lot about how to cook these in a microwave and decided to come up with my own balance of ingredients and little tricks and uploaded my own recipe.
Don't add too much red food colouring! Stop when you get a faint colour.