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Sakura Blossom Kintsuba

Sakura Blossom Kintsuba

Preserved cherry leaves are chopped up and kneaded into these kintsuba (sweet bean yokan jelly coated with a light batter) that are redolent of springtime.

Ingredients: 9 cakes

Tsubu-an (chunky sweet azuki bean paste; canned is OK)
600 g
Powdered kanten
4 g
Water
150 ml
Salt-preserved cherry leaves
5 leaves
Shiratamako
20 g
Water
100 ml
Cake flour
50 g
Sugar
1 tablespoon
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon
Salt-preserved cherry blossoms
1 packet

Steps

1. If you are going to make your own tsubu-an, refer to Recipe ID: 326394. Soak the salt preserved cherry leaves in plenty of water for about half a day to de-salt (change the water occasionally.) After the leaves have been de-salted, cut off the thick stem and finely chop the rest. Wash the salt off the cherry blossoms too, and leave to soak for a few hours in water.
2. Combine the powdered kanten and 150 ml of water and mix well. Cook over medium heat while stirring until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for about 2 minutes then turn off the heat.
3. Put the tsubu-an in a heatproof container and add the kanten liquid little by little while mixing. Microwave for 4-5 minutes without covering. Take it out twice during that time to mix well. When the mixture has cooled, add the chopped cherry leaves and stir in.
4. Pour the mixture into a square container (about 18 cm square) and chill until set in the refrigerator. When it has set completely, take it out of the container and cut into 9 squares.
5. Add shiratama-ko to 100 ml of water little by little to dissolve. Add cake flour and sugar also, mix well and add vegetable oil too.
6. Coat the cut squares from Step 4 thinly in batter, and cook in a frying pan that has been warmed over low heat, pressing the yokan squares down lightly on each side.
7. Coat the side that will face up with the batter, press on a well dried cherry blossom, and cook until set.

Story Behind this Recipe

I didn't have enough preserved cherry leaves to make sakura-mochi, so I remembered that a cake I had once with chopped cherry leaves, anko and whipped cream in it was delicious. I tried making a wagashi (traditional Japanese sweet) that also had chopped cherry leaves, so I made kintsuba. These are perfect for Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day Festival).