Friday, March 2, 2012

Ugly but Vegan...




...gluten free and sweet. It all started when my husband came back from Japan, I alway ask for some edible souvenirs, so this time I got a bottle of Choya Umeshu (sweet plum sake), soba noodles, umeboshi (pickled plums) and nama choco.




I love nama choco, it finished in no time, the kids loved it too since this was a type without liqueur, so maybe one day I should make it, it is so easy and blogger Nami has a good recipe for it here




After indulging in this extra cream + extra chocolate treat I decided that it was time for a less sweet and possibly non dairy sweet treat, and I remember that one of my favourite Japanese sweet is the baked sweet potato wagashi. I made something like this before, and I thought that the New Zealand kumara looks like a Japanese potato... but then I ended up with something completely different :-).




First of all kumara are much softer that Japanese sweet potatoes, then I only had an orange kumara at home (the red ones are better because they are white inside). I thought of baking my kumara, as steaming it was going to make it even softer and in the meantime I drunk a bit of Umeshu, and decided to soak a few sultanas in some too. Once my kumara was done I quickly realized that it was going to be far too soft for molding, so I reverted to plan B, i.e. not shaping the sweets by chakin shibori (with a muslin cloth or handkerchief), but simply dropping them on the baking tray with a spoon! For one mashed kumara I added 2 tsp of brown sugar, and then 'dropped' three tablespoons of the mixture on the baking tray. I did the other three adding the sultana soaked in Umeshu, just to make a variation. 



I decided against brushing the top with beaten egg yolk, so that this could be also a vegan recipe, and I baked everything at 180°C for about 15 minutes. To look at them I think that these are among the ugliest sweets I have ever made, but they tasted incredibly good, especially the ones with the sultana. I will make them again, but I will also look for some more 'floury' sweet potatoes (not kumara) so if you know where I can get some in Auckland please let me know!





With this recipe I take part in the monthly blogging event Sweet New Zealand, this month hosted by a Kiwi blogger living in Australia who publishes lots of wonderful recipes and likes gluten free ones! Over to you Emma, and thank you for hosting!


Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

21 comments:

  1. As always, I'm salivating when I read your posts. I've had some problems loading blogs with lots of pics lately due to poor internet connection on the road, so apologies for not visiting. I really HAVE been trying to!! Also loving the cheese posts - I think cheese is the thing I'd miss the most if I was on a really strict diet ... Have a great weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, if I was on a desert island I would crave for cheese!

      Delete
  2. Di difficile reperibilità quella patata, ma questo non mi impedisce di desiderare un assaggino!!

    ciao loredana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Italia si trovano le patate americane dolci che sarebbero quelle giuste, le mie erano troppo molli...

      Delete
  3. I'm dying to try Nami's recipe for Royce Nama chocolate. I was lucky enough to be given some to try and it really is lovely :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ryoce is the best brand for me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ale they're not ugly, they look delicious :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. ti posso dire che secondo me non è affatto brutto, anzi io trovo questi dolcetti un amore.....sono vegani, quindi appena reperisco dei simil-ingredienti li faccio.
    consigli su cosa usare al posto delle vostre patate che qui sono introvabili?
    grazie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, devi usare le patate americane dolci, in Italia si trovano, e con quelle riesci a fare i veri dolcetti giapponesi, cioe', sono piu' dense quindi le cuoci a vopore, poi le schiacci, aggiungi poco zucchero scuro e quello che vuoi tu (uvetta o niente) e le modelli a forma di .... castagna gigante con un fazzoletto bagnato (come nel link) e poi le metti in forno.

      Delete
    2. sei un tesoro, grazie mille Alessandra :)

      Delete
  7. Alessandra! You are so lucky you already have a box of Royce! I thought I would be the first one to grab it since I'm going in a month! ;-) Now that you reminded me of Umeshu...I have one but forgot to drink. Today is Friday and such a perfect treat. I didn't think this is ugly at all. I also love sweet potato wagashi. I think you and I can kill the whole box together. It looks delicious and I wish I know how to make sweets without recipe like you. I bet this is really delicious. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Royce, or at least, I love the nama choco, I didn't try the other products. Royce, if you read us please send us a sample box, both to me and Nami!!!! hahahaha :-D

      Delete
  8. Ho urgentemente bisogno di un generoso sorso di ume-shu, pleaaaaase! :-)) (si vabbe' visto che da me c'è l'infestazione dei troll, vengo a vagare sui blog altrui ;-) (comunque mi hai fatto venire in mente un po' di cosine da farmi portare dal Giappone dall'amica che sta per arrivarmi a casa, thanks per gli spunti!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You welcomed! Oddio i troll, dai guardala dal lato positivo (io cerco sempre di essere positiva), almeno il blog viene cliccato tanto :-). Pero' e' vero, che due scatole!!! Comunque chi scrive male fa solo danno a se' stesso!

      Per l'umeshu posso darti un consiglio? di solito io prendo il classico (bottiglia verde) o al miele, (bottiglia oro) ma questa volta Peter mi ha portato quello al shiso rosso (un'erba giapponese), anzi, questo era con extra shiso, bottiglia rosso/fuchsia, ed e' il migliore per me (inoltre il colore e' troppo bello)! La marca e' Choya, che in Giappone ormai e' sinonimo con umeshu!

      Delete
    2. btw should I comment in english? (after all, it's not an italian blog right?) - actually I'd never even heard about shiso umeshu (I knew Choya though! ;-), and I happen to be one (frustrated) shiso lover (I brought some seeds to Italy but never got to give them a try...), so this is definitely going on my shopping list! Thanks for inspiring me! ;)

      Delete
    3. English, Italian, French, Japanese... the lot, in a way or another I am sure that I will understand you
      :-).

      Ahhh, just remembered that I have some shiso seeds (the green one though, not the akajiso -red) from last year but forgot to plant them... I wander if they are still good...

      Delete
  9. Ale qui non si può far altro che ammirare, non penso che questi ingredienti si possano trovare qui :-)a me pare che la parola di verifica nel tuo non ci sia aspetta che provo! Baci

    ReplyDelete
  10. Esatto, niente parola di verifica!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Grazie Ely, meno male, altrimenti chissa' quanto ci mettevo a capire come toglierla!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Adorabili i souvenir mangerecci.....

    ReplyDelete
  13. These sound so interesting and super simple to make! xx

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails