Invited by a friend to a Wagashi Workshop, it was held in a department store. I have tried many wagashi before, but this is the first time I made wagashi. Wagashi (和菓子) means Japanese sweets in Japanese, it is made by bean paste, rice cake, some special ingredients or fruits. It is always served together with tea.
There were more foreigners in my class section, including American, Korean, Taiwanese, Malaysian and Japanese. The sensei is a skilled artisan, he owned a Japanese confectionery shop in Iwakuni. Sensei said he's a bit nervous but with a smile on his face. He said he could only speak Japanese and this is the first time he taught foreigners to make wagashi.
We started rolling the white bean paste into ball shape and wrapped it up in the pink nerikiri (a mixture of white bean paste and steamed rice flour).
The whole bean paste ball is wrapped with the wet cloth and twisted to make a flower shape. Obviously, I failed to do that. The tip should be in the middle of yellow part. The wet cloth is used to prevent the bean paste from drying out too.
Then used a triangle wood to press lightly to the bean paste to make the flower petal, though what I made ( the one in the photo) does not look like flower and the lines are so messy! Making wagashi is really a very delicate work.
This is called Chrysanthemum wagashi, made by sensei, amazingly beautiful and it's like a piece of art work!
Sensei's work no.2, Peony wagashi.
Sensei emphasized that wagashi should be placed on a dish before taking a photo of them. And, these are my final work of my wagashi.