Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sakura Jelly

                                "Life is brief. Don't forget to stop and smell the sakura"


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Almost like a painting: Sakura flowers set in a clear jelly (made with the pink soaking liquid of the sakura) with a base of dark cherry mousse and cherries. I couldn't get a good photo of the jelly and the flowers turned out blurry because it was a rainy evening, around 5:30 pm. The background was the reflection of the sunset on my table. I very nearly didn't want to post anything, thinking that I should skip a post and make this jelly again. Am glad I just went with it.

Uploaded on 28/11/11:

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The jelly above was made of gelatine while that in the first picture was made of konyakku. Gelatine sets slowly and is less viscous even when it's not hot so the sakura unfurled fully while konyakku becomes thick very quickly and the flower can't fully unfurl.

The Sakura Jelly I'm posting  today for the Royal Selangor Pewter Jelliriffic! challenge towards breast cancer awareness and aid for the Breast Cancer Welfare Association was one of the first jellies I made before the challenge. I came across the most beautiful Swiss roll here and wanted to get hold of  sakura no shio zuke, pickled sakura flowers, online but received a reply from rakuten.com that they don't ship overseas anymore.

Again, Yo was my friend indeed because she arranged for her Japanese colleague Sumiko to get me the flowers from Osaka a week after my SOS; how great is that. Thanks, Yo and Sumiko!

Every spring, the Japanese practice the custom of hanami, picnicking under the blooming sakura trees, to appreciate the beautiful but ephemeral blooms which symbolize the beauty and briefness of life.  Pickled with plum vinegar and salt, sakura no shio zuke flowers are used to make snacks such as mochi, jellies and buns. Sakurayu is pickled sakura tea, drunk during weddings because sakura, being a spring flower, represents a new beginning.

How do the flowers taste? If you love salted dried plums (huamei in Chinese), you'll love the flavor of sakura no shio zuke but if you've not eaten umeboshi (pickled plums) or the Chinese suanmei or huamei, you might find the flavor kind of unusual, especially in a jelly. The pickled flowers are extremely salty. I've had flowers that tasted salty even after being soaked for a week!

I first made the sakura jellies weeks ago with a white chocolate mousse base and loved the result: clear jelly on top and sweet white chocolate mousse at the bottom. This afternoon, I made a sakura jelly with dark cherry mousse at the base. I kept the top clear layer salty-sweet by using some of the water from soaking the flowers--it's drinkable so why throw it away--and I made the mousse quite sweet to balance the saltiness of the top layer. I really love this jelly for all its beauty and complexity of flavors. I think I may be sakura no shio zuke crazy. I know what you are saying, that I can get the same flavor from huamei or xenmei but salted plums aren't pretty at all. The sakura is and thanks to the inventiveness of the Japanese, the flavor and beauty of the sakura can still be appreciated long after their brief season has gone.

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Pickled sakura flowers.

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A single sakura blossoms in clear jelly on a base of white chocolate mousse.
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Sakura Jelly
2 to 3 salted sakura
--Rinse and soak in warm water for 3 to 4 hours. Rinse and soak again for 1 hour. Keep the water.

Top layer:
150 ml water from soaking the salted sakura
1/2 t konyakku powder (or gelatine powder for a less chewy jelly)
a pinch of citric acid (omit of using gelatine)
1 heaped tsp of caster sugar (more if you prefer)
1) Mix the konyakku powder, citric acid and sugar together well.
2) Put the water into a small pot and sprinkle the konyakku mixture over the water, stirring well. Heat undeer low flame until all the sugar is dissolved and the water becomes clear instead of cloudy.
3) Rinse and place a Nick Munro mould into a mug. Pour half the konyakku jelly into the mould, drop the flowers in (use a wooden skewer to hang them). Use a toothpick to push the sakura gently to and fro so that the petals unfurl. Wait until the jelly is half-set before pouring the remaining jelly in. You will have to re-heat the remaining jelly because it can gel quickly. Cool and work on the nest layer.

Cherry Mousse Layer:
1/2 tsp gelatine powder
30 ml cherry liquid (from canned dark cherries)
5 dark cherries, drained on kitchen paper
2 tsp caster sugar
70 ml dairy whipping cream
1) Mix the gelatine powder with the sugar and sprinkle over the cherry liquid in a small pot. Heat and stir to dissolve the sugar and gelatine. When cool, chill it until it's nearly syrupy.
2) Arrange the cherries on the clear layer.
3) Whip the cream until stiff, then whisk in the cherry liquid and pour the mousse over the clear layer. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

White Chocolate Mousse Layer:
1/2 t gelatine powder
50 ml water
50 gm white chocolate melts, melted
70 ml dairy whipping cream

1) Mix the gelatine powder with the sugar and sprinkle over the water in a small pot. Heat and stir to dissolve the sugar and gelatine. When cool, mix the melted choc in. Chill slightly.
2) Whip the cream until stiff, then whisk in the choc-gelatine mixture and pour the mousse over the clear layer. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

56 comments:

tina said...

My dear, I dont know how you do it but you are so creative. I love this. I think this is so pretty!

Carrie said...

Very nice piece of art! Where to get the salted sakura?

Cubie said...

Sugoii! Especially the first pic... Very beautiful :)

I've been reading your blog since I first sumbled upon it 3 years back while looking for a recipe. I like your posts.. Very entertaining :)

malaymui said...

Very pretty and elegant!! Sure it taste good too as I love to eat anything with Sakura. You have many packs, saw them in one of the photos....

Sharon said...

So so beautiful and a true lady's dessert

hh said...

A Beautiful Breathtaking Dessert! Keep up the Excellent edible creativity!
I enjoy eating flowers with salads and used to garnish cakes with them too..
Yolanda introduced me to your blog and I'm so glad she did!

mycookinghut said...

Beautiful!! I love this!

Lite Home Bake said...

This is so so so pretty! I can imagine hearing my girlfriends squealing if I were to make them for a girls night out party :) I had seen that beautiful swiss roll and had been thinking about where to get hold of those pretty flowers.

chopinandmysaucepan said...

This is a beautiful creation Terri and a wonderful dedication to breast cancer. I like the clarity of the sakura inside the jelly and your variation of the base flavour. Great artistry!

ninazsyafinaz said...

O dear..I cant take my eyes from it..so lovely..beautiful!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am speechless. Simply exquisite

Janine said...

i really do love how the sakuras bloom in water - lovely! how i wish i could get my hands on them too!

Fooman said...

Too pretty to eat.
Now how about something for the men?
Hahah

Apple said...

That jelly is breath taking. Sakura flowers are amazing to look at, I didn't know they were edible. I've learned something new today!

Food so delicious! said...

Lovely!! I have been trying to get my hands on this Sakura flower thingy and like you said, they dont export it out anymore. Lucky you! Hehehe..

I must say that this is very unique and you have once again enticed me to try to make this.. but I must first get my hands on the sakura flower.. hehehee..

Well done! well done!

passion said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing.

HP said...

Breathtaking! Well done!

Winston said...

This is sooo beautiful. The lovely sakura flower suspended in clear jelly is just like art. Your creations are so elegant, seriously!

Chak said...

Well done ... you win the Day 12 challenge hands down!! Superb ... an edible work of art.

Zurin said...

You've nailed it with this!!!! Elegant and a piece of art! It took my breath away.You nailed it Terri.

bblossom said...

This is SO unique and beautiful. I love it. It's like a piece of Art, you are very creative.

cy wong said...

Terri,

You are sooooooo talented and creative !!!
Beautiful works of art !

Chriss said...

This is so unbelievably beautiful! It should be THE SYMBOLIC JELLY for the whole challenge!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

i have no chance to taste your Sakura Jelly but can just admire your beautiful creation!

Nee said...

You r an absolute genius! This is sooo beautiful I want to sigh!

Elsie T said...

from shining gold to sweet pink! only with the pictures, the jelly looks yummy, sweet and fragrant already!!well done. i love each and every of your jelly posts. but still love the jelly kinabalu the most! =)

Lady G said...

Oh my, this has got to be the prettiest jelly you've created. It's truly a work of art.

Chowchow said...

Another gorgeous creation Terri. The photo is stunning. Makes me wonder how you were able to make the flower bloom so well in the jelly.

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

This is a work of art. You're absolutely amazing, coming up with these incredible ideas.

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures, well taken. Love the whole jelly, so pretty and sweet looking dessert. Reminds me of romance! :-)

I'm falling in love...........

MG

Sharon said...

I looked at the pictures for the second time today bcos they are so beautiful. Sure going to look at them again tomorrow.

Yolly said...

You are so good with your creation and knowledge. Looking forward to enjoy your creation.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, this is really impressive! those sakuras are well matched with the colours of the jelly..

Niece Mona

RUNNING BROOK said...

Got caught up with things for a couple of days.
Looked into your blog today and saw the the single stalk sakura. Looks really exquisite! I'm amazed that you can get your hands on all sorts of ingrediants. You are really resourceful!!!!

Swee San @ The Sweet Spot said...

This is soooo pretty!!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

That's just amazingly beautiful.

red | hongyi said...

36 FREAKING COMMENTS?!?!

MUM......I STILL WANT YOUR ATTENTION EVEN IF YOU BECOME SUPER FAMOUS OKAY.

Martyna@WholesomeCook said...

Really gorgeous looking jellies, both the purple and cream!!! I love glass sculptures and wouldn't mind having one like this on my desk...

Veronica Lee said...

Exquisite! Magnifique! I'm awe-struck! Love your stories and phrases too. I was just thinking about the colours of Borneo like Bajau horsemen, the multi coloured traditional costumes and hats of Sabah. Maybe can do a jelly along those lines? What about Tanjung Aru Beach as an inspiration for another jelly?- beach, softest sand in the world, sun set, etc. Maybe even a spiritual one - good and evil, a black and white clean cut sophisticated jelly. The sky's the limit for you Terri. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us and making the world such a pretty and happy place just to log on and see your jellies!!

megan said...

sometimes i just wish that maybe my mum could be creative like you are.
you should be one of the judges in Masterchef Australia you would be a good one .
megan

Sharn said...

My goodness. These are works of art! They are so exquisite and the photography is doing them every bit of the justice they deserve!
sharn.subs@gmail.com

4rx said...

Just wonderful... i never think that it was so easy to immortalize something, thanks to you i have a new project this month, thanks a lot.

Escorts in Delhi said...

Its really very interesting post full of valuable information. The key part of this post is its descriptive way to define anything.

Rusti said...

Stumbled upon your blog while searching for Sakura flower recipes. Your Sakura Jelly is really breathtaking. I am having someone bring back some flowers and essence from Japan and I cannot wait to try your recipe. I notice the water for the jelly part is only 150ml. Isn't that very little? I don't now how big your finished product is but I am wondering with your recipe, how many pieces of the conical jellies did you make. Thanks.

Nicolas said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I liked it so much that I added it to the list of best sakura recipe with a link back to your blog.

http://nihon-ichiban.com/2012/07/16/top-recipes-with-pickled-sakura-cherry-blossoms-from-japan/

Sui said...

おいしいそう!

Anonymous said...

made this at home for a dinner party - it is amazing! rave reviews all around !! Thanks for the great recipe and idea

Anonymous said...

So beautiful.

Kathy Gemmell said...

This is the most amazing AND ambitious dessert I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing!

Mary Yram said...

Terry borrowed your photo and recipe of the sakura jelly. Gave you credit of course. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Your recipe looks amazing! I was wondering where do you buy the molds?

Natalie Theisen said...

has anyone actually made this dessert?

David Florist said...

Well, this flower show piece looks so impressive and can be used as Send gifts and flowers in philippines from anywhere, I like the pics you have upload in the post.

DeLauna said...

How many molds will this recipe fill? We are having a dinner party with 16 people. Just wondering how much I need to increase the recipe by. Thank you...It looks AH-mazing!!

Anonymous said...

What size moulds?

Anonymous said...

Hey. What other flowers can you use instead of Sakura as it is not available.

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