The top layer tastes like sakura mochi (a cherry blossom flavored mochi cake). The thick, creamy texture is irresistible. This was the dessert people loved the most at our Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day Festival) party.
Ingredients: About 750 ml - 5 champagne glasses' worth
Note: If you mix gelatin with milk, the milk will split into 2 layers. In this recipe I have a way to avoid that.
Preparation: Rinse the salt-preserved cherry blossoms gently in water to remove the surface salt. Put the rinsed cherry blossoms in the milk with the sugar, and leave to soak for a while (at least an hour, up to overnight).
Green layer: Combine the milk, matcha and sugar. Put half in a bowl over ice water.
Add the gelatin to the remaining half of the milk mixture, and heat in a pan while mixing to dissolve the gelatin. Add this to the chilled mixture and keep on mixing continuously until the whole mixture had cooled.
When the pudding mixture has become cold and started to thicken, you can stop mixing. Pour it immediately into chilled glasses, and refrigerate until set.
White layer: Put the white pudding ingredients in a pan and mix until everything is dissolved. Pour into the glasses from Step 5 and refrigerate until set.
Pink layer: Add food coloring to the cherry blossom infusion from Step 2, and mix in a blender. ※Be sure not to add too much food coloring.
Divide the mixture into 2 portions. Chill one portion in a bowl over ice water.
Add the gelatin to the remaining portion of pudding mixture, and heat in a pan while stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Add this to the chilled portion of pudding mixture, and keep on mixing continuously until it has completely cooled down.
When the pudding mixture has become cold and started to thicken, you can stop mixing. Pour the pudding mixture immediately into the chilled glasses (on top of the white pudding layer), and refrigerate until set.
Optionally top the pudding with some reserved de-salted cherry blossoms before refrigerating.
Just a tiny bit of food coloring is needed to add color, so be sure to add it little by little. The color will deepen when the pudding mixture is heated, so keep the color on the light side when mixing it in.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is a dessert for a Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day Festival) party. I finally, finally achieved what I wanted in terms of appearance and taste after a lot of trial and error! I didn't want to use food coloring, but using cherry blossoms alone didn't make the pudding pink at all, so I used a tiny bit. The pink layer tastes like sakura mochi, and is just irresistible for cherry blossom lovers.
Soak the salt-preserved cherry blossoms for as long as possible to infuse the milk. Keep mixing to prevent the pudding mixture from separating into 2 layers. The pudding will set when it is chilled, so the point is to keep stirring until it starts setting. Add the food coloring a tiny bit at a time!