"you eat with your eyes first" is my belief when it comes to baking so i always aim to make pretty looking (of coz delicious) desserts and cakes. ever since knowing the existence of pickled cherry blossoms and how the japanese use it extensively in their beautiful wagashi and sweets, that came top of my most-wanted baking ingredient. so when i made the shiro-an white bean paste, i actually had this in mind already. this sakura roll uses the shiro-an both in the sponge and mousseline filling which i find it a really novel idea. having made sponges which require the use of almond or pistachio paste, i really liked the taste so i wonder what it'll be like to use white bean paste instead.
i've been fascinated with wagashi (和菓子) for the longest time. dainty morsels of bite-sized japanese confectioneries used in traditional tea ceremony, they're just so beautiful and intriguing. looks aside, i really like what goes into them - matcha, purple sweet potato, black sesame, pumpkin, sakura etc. so before venturing into any of the wagashi recipes, i figured that i should start with the basic filling. since koshi-an/tsubu-an (adzuki red bean paste) is so common and readily available, i decided to make the white bean paste ( しろあん or 白餡) instead. so far i don't think i've seen shops carrying it in singapore, or maybe i just haven't looked hard enough.
i'm not sure if anyone heard things like martha stewart's recipes don't work? i learned it from one of my baking buddies as well as some food bloggers, one of which you can read her story here. despite having been baking for several years now, i haven't tried martha stewart's recipes at all so i couldn't comment. then it was after i got an ipad 2 recently that i started downloading her mags, ebooks & apps and seriously thought about trying her recipes. deciding to venture out of my comfort zone to incorporate some spices into my bakes apart from the usual "safe" choices like cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger, this recipe caught my eye.
my friend claire went to paris again to visit her fiancé's family and i got more sadaharu AOKI's macarons this time yay!! this is my third time having them this year (so lucky) and not just that, i got to try three cakes from there as well!
ever since taking a liking on macarons many years back, i started appreciating other meringue-based desserts like pavlova, tarte citron and marshmallows as well. this is the one i usually make when i want a sweet-tooth quick fix coz its so effortless and easy to make. this time round, i came across the idea of doing red marbled swirls from a food mag and was immediately taken to it. it makes the otherwise plain meringue look lively and whimsical.