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Elegant Japanese Sweets (Jo-Namagashi) for Spring

Elegant Japanese Sweets (Jo-Namagashi) for Spring

I made these cherry-blossom shaped sweets with uiro dough, which is easy to make in the microwave. They're great for when you have guests.

Ingredients: Makes about 8 pieces

☆ Shiratamako
15g
☆ Kudzu starch
10g
☆ Joshinko
30g
☆ Caster sugar
80g
Water
80ml
Shiro-an
About 45g
Food coloring (red and yellow)
As needed
Katakuriko (for dusting)
As needed

Steps

1. Place the ingredients marked with a ☆ into a microwave-safe bowl. Dilute the red food coloring with the water in a separate bowl.
2. Add the colored water into the bowl with the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, mixing well so that no lumps form.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for two minutes. Remove and stir well, then cover and microwave for one more minute. This will produce a springy dough.
4. Roll the dough out on a surface dusted with the katakuriko while it is still warm. It should be about 2-3mm thick.
5. Using a round cookie cutter or a cup, cut out a circle of dough. I used one that was 8cm in diameter. Place about 5g of shiro-an, rolled into a 2cm ball, in the middle of the circle.
6. Create the petals by bringing the sides together. Here's how to form the first petal.
7. Forming the second petal.
8. Forming the third petal... Now it's starting to look like a flower!
9. When you've brought the fourth and fifth petals together, pinch the middle part together firmly enough that it all stays together.
10. Use your finger to open up each petal, making them nice and round.
11. If you use kitchen scissors to cut a notch into the end of each petal, it will look even more like a cherry blossom. Place a bit of shiro-an mixed with yellow food coloring in the middle of each flower to make the stamens. Now they're ready to serve.

Story Behind this Recipe

I wanted to make adorable Japanese sweets that were perfect for spring, so I did some experimenting with uiro dough, trying to make it not too stiff but not too soft. Finally, I thought it looked about right, so I uploaded the recipe.