Through Nikkei Concerns I had the opportunity to take a nerikiri-making (Japanese sweets) class today with a pastry chef named Setsuko. She has her own business called Setsuko Pastry (based here in Seattle) and all of her creations look amazingly delicious.
The treats we made today were balls of sweet red bean paste (homemade by Setsuko) wrapped up in a neat little package of mochi (glutinous rice flour, water, sugar, and food coloring mixed with white bean paste, also homemade).
Setsuko Sensei made these as an example...
And this was one of the ones I made (they even brought sweet little boxes for us to put them in!)...
It was so much fun to knead the mochi/sweet white bean paste (shiroan) till smooth, add the food coloring and knead again, wrap up the anko (sweet red bean paste), and create fun shapes and styles. The one above was shaped by wrapping it in plastic wrap, tightening it, and twisting (the same way you can make some savory onigiri rice balls, which I have done before for the kiddiewinks).
That looks quite relaxing as well as bringig back memories for you.
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