What Tea sweets are easy to make at home?
A fun one that my teacher has been playing around with lately is just taking tortilla with sugar on it and toasting it in the toaster oven. I really enjoy this when it has the right amount of crunch to it. It is a nice home made replacement for senbei. I had this go over very well with my guests too.
Tea sweets can be very complicated to make, but it does not need to be. A lot of work goes into making them look nice and seasonally appropriate. For some higashi you can buy small cookie cutters so that you can produce nice shapes with less work.
If I was going to pick the “easiest” I would do Kizatou (生砂糖):
- Powdered sugar (Funto) 100g
- Kambaiko ( Mochi rice flour) 15g
- Water 10 ml
- Oil 1-2 drops
Mix sugar and flour, then gradually add hot water and mix/knead it until it becomes smooth and pliable. Split the doe into a few different lumps and colour them using food colour. Mix lumps of a few different colours and then roll the doe to a flatt sheet and use a small cookie cutter to make shapes. Then leave them to dry.
There are a bunch of fairly easy tea sweets to make. Tankosha even publishes a picture book for making the things called『キッチンでつくる茶席の和菓子』ISBN: 4473018954 There is also『おもてなし和菓子を手づくりで。―“かんたん・おいしい・美しい”和菓子レシピ42』ISBN: 9784093103558 and『プロのためのわかりやすい和菓子』ISBN: 4388060003 both of which are fairly accessible. Making お干菓子 ohigashi (dry sweets) is not particularly difficult if you have as set of moulds. These are typically made out of ceramic. We used ceramic moulds in Tokyo and Tea Circle used to sell ceramic moulds. A really easy tea sweet to make is mock chestnuts. The easiest recipe for these consists of 50% chestnut flour (commercially available in North America – it is even sold retail by a European specialty food store in Syracuse) and 50% sugar. There are fancier recipes. You basically mix the two ingredients with water to form a paste and form them by hand. Some people call for using some sort of cloth. If I recall correctly, when I made them a few years back, parchment paper worked pretty well. But, maybe I was using that for the other sweet I made the same night.
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