After the cold winter, a nice season has started here in Japan. It is getting warm and having a nice breeze while day time is also getting longer. Sakura(cherry blossoms) started blooming too!
In the previous article"Feel Sakura in Your Mind, Bring Sakura to Your Table " , I showed you a few sakura products in our web shop and also told you how essential sakura is for Japanese people. This time I will tell you how to enjoy baking with sakura !
Baking with sakura.....you might get surprised to hear it as sakura "cherry" blossoms don't produce any fruit. Which part of sakura is used for baking? Is sakura edible anyway?......... I will show you.
Can you see the leaves? These are salt-pickled leaves of sakura.
桜餅(Sakura mochi) , made of sweet pink rice cake or a pink pancake. It is usually filled with Anko( sweet bean paste)
The leaves prevent the mochi cake from drying and also add a nice flavor to them. We can also eat the leaves. You will enjoy a special flavor.
We also use blossoms for cooking. Here are 桜塩漬け(Sakura shiozuke), salt-pickled sakura blossoms. Sometimes blossoms are pickled with salt, sometimes pickled with salt and 梅酢(Umezu) - plum vinegar. (You can buy here.)
桜塩漬け(Salt-pickled sakura blossoms)
Salt makes the color of blossoms brighter, and also makes the flavor special. The component of the special flavor is called coumarin, resembling the scent of vanilla with a bitter taste. I'd thought I would like you to taste the special flavor at home. What is the best for you to taste the flavor? What is easy and simple for you to make?
I've chosen biscuits !!
I made this simple recipe after trying a few times. It was my first time to bake biscuits with sakura blossoms. To be honest, I wasn't sure if the taste would be nice or not, although I was sure that they would look cute. After trying a few times, I can say that the taste is also good. The saltiness and the special flavor in blossoms give accent to the biscuits!! I am happy if you try to bake it and share your experience with us.
SAKURA BUTTER BISCUITS
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g plain flour
1 egg yolk
10g salted pickled sakura blossoms
- 5g (about 12 flowers) for topping
- 5g for filling
5g (about 12 flowers) for topping
Soak 5g of sakura blossoms (for filling) in a bowl of water for 30 minutes and then drain the water, wipe them and chop them finely.
After soaking in water, chop them finely.
Pre-heat the oven to 170℃.
1 Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them with a whisk until light and fluffy.
2 Add the egg yolk and chopped sakura blossoms into the bowl and mix well.
3 Shift flour into the bowl and mix until thoroughly mixed. Then press it lightly into a dough.
4 Form the dough about 3cm (1.2 inches) in diameter cylinder and roll it with cling wrap.
5 Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
( Pre-heat the oven to 170℃ )
6 Cut the dough about 1cm (0.4 inches) thick discs making 12 pieces and place a sakura blossom on each biscuit and press it gently.
7 Place them on a baking tray and bake them for 15-20minutes at 170℃ until the biscuits have turned a slight golden color.
Here they are !!
How cute !!
If you haven't had the natural flavor of sakura, I recommend you to try it. The cute pink color and the special flavor will make you happy.
Feel spring and enjoy your tea time with sakura !
In this article , the second one about sakura, I told you how to eat and taste sakura in baking. In the next article, I will introduce you to great craftwork using sakura bark.
I will see you soon and enjoy your spring time!!
You can make the biscuits with any of these products.