Evolutionary Japanese Sweets That Combines the Essence of Ohagi and Western Confectionary

04.August.2021 | FOOD

Niigata prefecture is known for being a treasure trove of gastronomy, specializing in rice and sake products. Locals will be familiar with the long running Japanese sweet stores in the area, most of which incorporate the areas speciality rice and sake into their products.

“We want to let people know about Niigata’s amazing sweets and spread the word about our local produce.” 

With this in mind, a new “evolutionary” style of Japanese confectionary (Wagashi) was created, combining the traditional taste of Japan with the essence of the modern era to invoke both newness and nostalgia.

 

Mandai Bean Paste is the signature treat from the new Evolutionary Wagashi selection, made with the ever-popular Ohagi in mind. The mochi is made in partnership with a long-established Niigata confectionary store with over 200 years of experience in the prefecture.

The mochi is made using Shinnosuke, a new Niigata-based rice brand known for it’s rich taste, while the Bandai-an bean paste filling is created by a long-standing local Anko store.

Each Ohagi is hand wrapped in store, with 12 delicious flavors available, including some seasonal fruits.

Unlike any normal Ohagi, this Evolutionary Wagashi is combined with seasonal fruits, nuts, and mascarpone cheese, adding an essence of Western flavoring to the traditional Japanese confectionary.

 

 The new store will be opening in the center of Niigata city, with a concept of “Long-established modern.”

Just like their modern twist on timeless Japanese sweets, Bandai-an has created a fitting space that combines the dignified image of a traditional store with modern sensibilities.

 

These modern sweets can be enjoyed in all kinds of settings, so why not try them for yourself?

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Magnificent Work of Art on Display at Sado Island Galaxy Art Festival Until October 2

    16.September.2021 | SPOT

    Sado Island, sitting off the Japanese mainland close to the Niigata coast, has been holding an incredible art festival since August 8, 2021. The highlight of the event is a massive glowing sculpture, made as a collaboration between Koiwa Kanaami Co., Ltd. and the Nobuaki Furuya+Yuri Fujii Laboratory at Waseda University. The eye-catching installment is meant to honor the historical Sado gold mine, one of the largest in the country, and a designated National Historic Site of Japan.

     

    The peak production period of the mine was 400 years ago, between 1615 to 1645. The mines on Sado produced over 400 kilograms of gold and nearly 38 tons of silver each year, making it one of the largest producers in the world at the time. The town of Aikawa, where the mine is located, is now filled with historical and tourist sites, with many buildings preserved and used as museums to teach visitors about mining technology over the years. A number of rail lines once ran around today’s Oma Port, carrying ore and other mining materials.

     

    The Sato gold mine was developed by Takato Oshima, one of the most important engineers in Japanese history, and the man also responsible for creating the first blast furnace and Western-style gun in Japan.

     

    Headlining the event, the ‘Scene Spinner’ installation consists of two spiral concepts: one, based on the spiral pumping machine used to drain water seeping into the mine, and the other inspired by the rail system around Oma Port. These spirals were made by using a wire mesh frame, which resembles the silhouette of the Sado gold mine. Each piece shown at the Galaxy Art Festival is meant to express the remaining historical importance of this often-overlooked area.

     

    The exhibition site, the former Oma Port, marks the location where materials were brought from the mines, and where the remains of the modern mining industry remain today. Oma Port, which has served as the gateway between Sado Island and the mainland, seems the perfect spot to hold this inspiring event, asking visitors to look around and think about the history made on this beautiful island.

  • Hotel W Osaka x PIERRE HERMÉ PARIS Unveil Limited Halloween Dessert Menu

    15.September.2021 | FOOD

    Opening in March 2021, Japan’s first luxury lifestyle Hotel W Osaka works with PIERRE HERMÉ PARIS to produce the ‘MIXup’ Art & Pastry Bar, which has unveiled a new Halloween themed dessert course and  à la carte cake, available from September 15.

     

    Pumpkin & Choux Cream / Ghost Montblanc / Frankenstein Cheesecake

    Rock’n’Roll

     

    Osaka is said to be the birthplace of Japanese cuisine, and in a similar vein,  this unique  ‘MIXup’ dessert course serves ‘CHEEKY’ sweets which are finished one-by-one in front of the customer. The counter-style serving has proven popular since it began in May of this year, known for the playful presentation and customer participation.

     

    This Autumn, the menu has been transformed into the ‘TRICKY CHEEKY HALLOWEEN’ course, with eight playful new desserts available to try. The desserts feature well-known Halloween monsters, and incorporate the taste of Autumn with pumpkin, chestnut, and pear, among other seasonal flavors.

     

    The take-out Halloween sweets lineup includes a matcha and red bean Frankenstein Cheesecake, a spooky Ghost Montblanc, jack-o-lantern shaped Pumpkin Choux Creams, and more. A limited Halloween variation of the bar’s iconic rose and raspberry Rock’n’Roll cake is also available! The recipe and baking techniques are based on the methods of PIERRE HERMÉ PARIS, with arrangements by The W Osaka.

     

    Try out some scarily tasty sweets this Halloween with The W Osaka and PIERRE HERMÉ PARIS!

     

  • Famous Oil Blotting Paper Brand’s Yojiya Café Reforms Three Popular Parfait Flavors

    14.September.2021 | FOOD

    The Yojiya Café, opened by the Yojiya brand famous for its Aburatorigami, or facial oil blotting paper, will be renewing its menu from September 13. The popular face parfait, which features the logo alongside a Kyoto woman with a mole, comes in three flavors available – Kinako, Matcha, and Milk Tea. Each parfait comes with a sauce, so you can adjust the taste as you eat.

     

    Kinako Parfait: ¥1,200 (Tax Incl.)

    Matcha Parfait: ¥1,200 (Tax Incl.)

    Milk Tea Parfait: ¥1,200 (Tax Incl.)

     

     

    The Yojiya Café is currently open in two locations, Gion and Sagano Arashiyama, offering a relaxing space to rest between shopping and sightseeing.

     

    The café has renewed their iconic Kinako Parfait, which combines Japanese Kinako and Western Maple Syrup, along with the Matcha Parfait, which is packed full of matcha ice cream, jelly, and cookies. The Milk Tea Parfait is made with a rich Japanese Tea and Earl Gray ice cream.

     

    Take a trip to Yojiya and find out which parfait is your favorite!

  • Wildly In-Demand Neko Neko Tiramisu Returns in Limited Quantities

    10.September.2021 | FOOD

    Neko Neko Cheesecake, a sweets shop specializing in cat-shaped treats, is adding the massively popular Neko Neko Tiramisu back to the menu for a limited time only, from September 10 until September 30, 2021.

    ※Until supplies last. 

     

    Originally sold as a limited-edition release for Father’s Day, 800 of these cat-shaped treats sold out instantly. Brought back as a result of constant consumer requests, the Tiramisu will only be available in very limited quantities.

     

    The Neko Neko Tiramisu is filled with soft sponge cake soaked with coffee syrup, with a layer of mascarpone cheese mousse layered on top. Finished with cocoa and coffee powder, it’s the perfect mix of bittersweet and rich flavors.

     

    The Tiramisu will also be available at the online store All Hearts Mall, making it easy to send to friends and family. As the pandemic continues to keep people apart, this adorable sweet is a great way to surprise loved ones far away.

     

    What do you think about this Neko Neko Tiramisu? It might be too cute to eat.

  • Healing ‘Panda’ Sweets Available at Gelato Pique Café for a Limited Time

    08.September.2021 | FASHION / FOOD

    A selection of healing monotone panda sweets will be available at the Gelato Pique Café between September 6 and September 25. The collection is titled “everyday PANDA! ~Sweets Time with Pandas~.”

     

    Menu

     

    Panda Crepe

     

    Panda Gelato

     

    Panda Float

     

     

    Goods

    Gelato Pique Café Original Panda Glass/Mug
    Available from September 6

    Gelato Pique Panda Motif Eco Bag / Panda Motif Hand Towel
    Online reservations open September 2, available instore from September 8

     

     

    In 2021, the Gelato Pique Café announced two rounds of animal themed sweets, proving hugely popular on social media. For Easter they released “Bunny Sweets” with rabbit ears motifs, while a series of “Polar Bear Sweets” was released during the Summer. Now, a selection of “Panda Sweets” is the latest to join the animal collection. 

     

    The chocolate and banana Panda Crepe is filled with a healing ganache and banana,  while the Panda Gelato has cocoa biscuits studded around the pandas neck, along with rounded eyes and ears. The “healing monotone” Panda Float combines the Gelato Pique Café’s original Guatemalan coffee blend with Royal Blue Bourbon.

     

    Along with this “everyday PANDA!” Fair, we have a large lineup of panda goods that will make you happy just by having them.  Goods that are perfect for presents, souvenirs, and rewards for yourself can be purchased at each gelato pique cafe store and EC site, so please look forward to that too!

    There is a huge lineup of panda goods that will brighten your day releasing alongside the “everyday PANDA” fair, which make perfect gifts for friends – or yourself! You can view the goods lineup in store and on the Gelato Pique website.

     

  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Miffy Parfait Using Tofu!

    08.September.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s Easy Recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.

     

    In this recipe, I’ll show you how to make an adorable Miffy Parfait using tofu shiratama!

     

    Tofu shiratama can be frozen without hardening, so it’s great to use for cooking as well as making sweets.

     

     

    Ingredients

    250g refined rice flour

    300g silken tofu

    ✩ This is about 1 bag of refined rice flour and 1 piece of silken tofu.

    Canned fruit or fruit of your choice

     

     

    Put the refined rice flour and silken tofu into a bowl and mix well.

    ⚠️ Do not drain the tofu!

    Don’t add water, just these two ingredients.

     

    ✩I knead all ingredients and then freeze it.

    Feel free to freeze it as dough, or boil it first.

    You can put them in Tupperware and store them in water in the refrigerator for a day or two. Don’t worry, they won’t harden!

     

    Add the coloring.

    Take a little bit of food coloring and add as you like.

    Here, I’m adding the yellow that will be the center of the flower.

     

     

    After mixing the dough, place it on parchment paper and put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

    You can shape it before placing it in the freezer, but chilling it will make it easier to work with.

     

    Cut out Miffy and her flowers.

    Place the yellow-colored piece into the middle of the flower.

    Roll the rest of the shiratama into balls.

     

     

    Boil the shaped shiratama while on the baking sheet.

    Boil the round shiratama as well. When they float to the top, place them in cool water.

     

     

    Place the shaped shiratama on parchment paper or plastic wrap and let dry briefly before adding decoration.

     

     

    Mix black cocoa with a little water, and using the mixture, draw Miffy’s face.

     

     

     

    Place the flowers and shiratama balls inside the glass, follow up with your favorite fruits!

    (If using canned fruit, feel free to add the syrup as well!)

     

    I hope you enjoy decorating this colorful dish!

     

     

    Kaori Kubota(@kaopan27

    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character themed foods, desserts and pastries♡

    I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡

    You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page → @kaopan72

  • SEGA Taiyaki Ikebukuro, Akihabara Stores Reveal Second Collaboration with Chiikawa

    07.September.2021 | Uncategorized

    GENDA SEGA Entertainment’s SEGA Taiyaki Ikebukuro and Akihabara stores have announced a second Chiikawa collaboration, the ‘ChiiKawayaki’ Taiyaki.  The series will feature a Bunny and ChiiKawa design, in addition to the reversible Tuxedo design from the first collaboration. Customers who purchase any of the ‘ChiiKawayaki’ products will receive a free collaboration badge! (※Random design)

     

    ChiiKawayaki

    Front: Bunny

    Back: ChiiKawa

    ChiiKawayaki: Premium Cream or Chocolate:¥600 each (Tax Incl.)

     

    ※Shown images are samples.

     

     

    Novelties

    Original Can Badge 2nd Series: 6 Designs (Random)

     

     

    ※Limited in quantity.

    ※Shown images are samples and may differ from the final product.

     

     

    ChiiKawa is a popular manga that is serialized on Twitter by illustrator NAGANO. The comic depicts the daily life of the ChiiKawa’s and has become known for its soft artwork, heartwarming story, and occasionally, some contrasting darkness.

     

    SEGA Taiyaki stocks popular food products from the Taiyaki brand Yokohama Kuriko-An, which has 31 stores throughout the Kanto region. They also collaborate with games and characters to produce Collaboration Taiyaki.

     

    The second ChiiKawayaki collaboration will satisfy both your eyes and your stomach!

     

    ©nagano

  • Baumkuchen Specialty Shop Katanukiya Offers Limited-Edition Panda Cake at New Location

    06.September.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    On September 1, Baumkuchen specialty shop Katanukia opened its second location on the second floor of Tokyo Solamachi, beneath Tokyo Skytree. These traditionally German cakes are extremely popular in Japan, and using a cookie cutter can transform them into works of art! To commemorate the new shop, the Tokyo Solamachi location will sell a limited-edition Panda Baumkuchen that is almost too cute to eat.

    Panda Baumkuchen

    Starry Sky Panda Baumkuchen: ¥594 (Tax Included)


     

    Starry Sky Panda Baumkuchen & Drawstring Bag Set: ¥1,815 (Tax Included)

     

    The special Starry Sky Panda Baumkuchen is made from soft, moist cake, and depicts an adorable panda character ready to gaze at the night sky from Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world. Children and adults alike will enjoy its gentle milk flavoring.

     

    The Starry Sky Panda Baumkuchen & Drawstring Bag Set includes the signature Baumkuchen, the Starry Sky Panda Baumkuchen, Panda shortbread, and an adorable bag. There will only be 100 of these sets available, so grab one before they’re gone!

     

    Is Baumkuchen popular in your country? How would you like to try these cute sweets in Tokyo?

     

  • The Westin Tokyo Hotel to Offer Premium Autumn Parfaits for Limited Time

    05.September.2021 | FOOD

    Three delicious desserts are coming to The Westin Tokyo for a limited time! Beginning October 1, visitors to the hotel can enjoy a collection of premium parfaits filled with seasonal ingredients and western liquors unique to the executive bar, simply named The Bar. These will be available until November 28, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holiday nights only.

     

    Chocolate Parfait with Figs and Red Berries

    Chestnut and Apple Parfait

    Chestnut and Hazelnut Mont Blanc Parfait

     

    The chocolate parfait includes whole figs and bright red berries, and is finished with rich port. Calvados was added to the Chestnut and Apple Parfait, allowing guests to enjoy a refreshing combination of nuts, fruits, and mascarpone. The Mont Blanc Parfait includes a fragrant rum from Martinique, and has a richer dessert flavor.

     

    The executive pastry chef carefully layers each parfait by hand, and these unique treats combining flavors of both east and west can only be found at The Westin Tokyo!

  • New Halloween Sweets Collection Arrives at Tokyo’s Q-pot CAFE.

    03.September.2021 | FOOD

    Halloween is arriving early at Omotesando’s popular Q-pot CAFE. A collection of sweet, scary, grotesquely-adorable sweets are now available for a limited time. Each cake set and macaron set are made to order.

    Q-pot CAFE. Three Cake Set: ¥2,030 (Tax Included)

     

    This collection of three unique cakes includes the stomach-turning brain cake, and the much more palatable eye-patch ghost cake. Guests can also enjoy the popular cookie tiramisu.

    Halloween Limited Edition ~Eye-Patch Ghost Cake~

     

    As you dig into this fluffy dessert, enjoy the flavor of chopped almonds and feuillantine, wrapped in gyuhi, a type of Japanese traditional confectionery. The pistachio and berry sauce blends into the vanilla mousse, and is sure to appeal to any fan of sweets.

    Halloween Limited Edition ~Brain Cake~

     

    This frightening dessert is made with strawberry and other red berry jellies, milk mousse, Genoise, and savory almonds. Dissecting it won’t be easy, but the taste is well worth it.

    ~Cookie Tiramisu~

     

    Mascarpone mousse with chocolate sponge dipped in espresso, topped with bittersweet coffee-flavored ganache cream with caramelized hazelnuts…what more could you want?

    Q-pot CAFE. Halloween Macaron Set (3 pumpkin/3 apple cinnamon): ¥2,430 (Tax Included) *Also available at the cafe individually for ¥360 (Tax Included)

     

     

    Jack-o-Lantern macaroons and spooky eyeball macaroons are available for takeout for a limited time only! Order at the cafe, the online shop, or through Uber Eats.

    ~Jack-o-Lantern Macaroon~

     

    Full of the rich, sweet taste of pumpkin, these will put you in the mood for the Halloween season.

    ~Eyeball Macaron~

     

    These scary snacks are filled with apple jelly, cinnamon, and spicy ganache cream.

     

     

    Do these sweets put you in the Halloween spirit?

  • Spooky and Super-cute Halloween Treats Coming to Mister Donut

    01.September.2021 | FOOD

    Japanese donut shop Mister Donut is bringing back its popular Ouchi de MISDO HALLOWEEN event starting on September 3, featuring five spooky sweets.

     

     

    Black Choco Cat

    Fluffy Mummy

    Floating Ghost

    Pink Frankenstein

    Pon de Chocolate Devil

    MISDO HALLOWEEN Party Set

     

    This year’s theme is ‘cute ghosts coming to visit you for Halloween!’ Rather than aiming for scares, these sweets are intended to make guests smile as they envision themselves playing with ghostly guests. These donuts are perfect for eating at home with friends and family.

     

    The lineup includes some new designs, like the Fluffy Mummy, made with strawberry, chocolate, and whipped cream designed to look like bandages. There are 10 different eye designs, so customers never know which expression these characters will make when the box is opened!

     

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the takeout-only MISDO HALLOWEEN Party Set was created to allow parents and children to enjoy Halloween festivities at home. The set includes a bag and sun visor with an original Pon de Lion Halloween design!

     

    Which donut are you dying to try?

  • Mister Donut Releases Sweet Potato Treats for Autumn

    31.August.2021 | FOOD

    To ring in the fall season, Mister Donut shops across Japan are now offering five different sweet potato donuts. The scrumptious sweets will be available until the end of November.

    Honey Sweet Potato Donut

    Honey Sweet Potato with Butter Donut

    Purple Sweet Potato Donut

    Candied Sweet Potato Donut

    Sweet Potato Donut

     

    The final donut on the list, the Sweet Potato Donut, doesn’t refer to a typical sweet potato in Japanese, but instead to a popular sweet potato cake. It’s topped with sweet potato cream and black sesame.

     

    These sweet potato themed treats have been available for the past three years, and continue to please customers with their simple taste and texture. Each pastry is kneaded with specific types of sweet potato powder, to give it a signature flavor and feel.

     

    New additions to this year’s lineup include the Honey Sweet Potato Donut and the Honey Sweet Potato with Butter Donut. By soaking the dough used for these treats in syrup, each bite provides a burst of sweetness while also keeping the texture of a freshly-cooked autumn potato. The Butter Donut is oven-baked with a salted butter-flavored filling.

     

    The Purple Sweet Potato, Candied Sweet Potato, and Sweet Potato Donuts from last year are all making a comeback after immense popularity. Which one would you try first?

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