Pony的甜點(三)淺談和菓子

媽媽的話:
上個星期開始,我終於不能不去復健了。工作與復健所花費的時間讓我少了很多可以在花園沉思的時間,所幸,有那麼多好朋友自己就照顧起這片園地,所以我也就安心地去來,沒有任何交待。

Pony好幾天前問我,她的甜點窗可以做了嗎?但是爸爸也忙得沒空幫她拍照,於是又拖了好幾天。她很喜歡吃烤地瓜,把台灣現在到處買得到的點心小小地做了一番美的呈現,雖然在技藝上還未登門,但對於和風點心的氣氛探訪已不遠。

對我來說,甜點不只是口味的傳達,更是美的最高展現。甜點有一種令人著迷的精緻特質卻也平易近人。所以,傳統的甜點足以反應一種文化的美感。就像泰國的金絲蛋象徵她們高聳的金漆尖塔;馬來西亞那些色彩鮮艷的米食糕點則反應出他們對亮麗色彩的喜愛。但在這方面最令我欣賞的文化是日本。 

日本傳統的甜點統稱為和菓子,另一些受到西方影響的點心則稱為洋菓子。和菓子起源於彌生時代,到了江戶時代「和菓子」的發展達到了極致。起初,和菓子只流傳於宮廷與貴族之間,當京都與伊勢〈今東京〉貿易發展之後,民間也開始有機會享用這些點心。雖然像「虎屋」這些大製果商都覺得自己的和菓子才是最高品質,但我覺得百貨公司中的一些小攤所做的也不差。上個暑假我們一家人去福岡時曾在一個百貨公司的食區中找到一個小站,在紅油紙傘下一張鋪著大紅巾的椅子上,我們享用放在漆器上的和菓子和抹茶。當時我對他們在如此現代混亂的市場中卻能推廣傳統感到非常驚訝。

和菓子通常都很小,傳達的是大自然的美。日本人總是慎重地為他們的和菓子命名,靈感通常來自於大自然或文學作品。他們非常在意和菓子與季節的連結,顏色與製作的方法是兩項最重要的考量。

做和菓子並不簡單,雖然材料總是很平凡〈豆沙、寒天、米粉、糖底、色素〉但最難的是一雙巧手和細緻的眼光。

但這個星期的和菓子非常簡化取巧,妳所需要的只是一張保潔膜和現成烤好的地瓜,對沒有時間的人來說再好也沒有。我希望沒有烤箱的人也能來參與這個甜點的製作。

To me, dessert is not only a matter of taste, but an epitome of beauty. There is something intoxicating about its delicate nature, yet comforting presence. It is only natural then, that a culture’s sense of beauty can be reflected in its traditional sweetmeats. For example, Thailand’s golden silk pillows are comparable to the country’s shimmering gold stupas and Malaysia’s iridescent kuehs mirror the culture’s affinity for bright colors. But the culture that impresses me most when it comes to stunning desserts is Japan.

 

 

Japan’s traditional desserts are generically known as wagashi, whereas Western-influenced desserts such as Castella are termed yogashi. The origin of wagashi dates back to the Yayoi Era, but it was during the Edo period when wagashi reached its full sophistication. Wagashi was, at first, exclusively enjoyed by the imperial court, but as the trade developed quickly in Kyoto and Edo, wagashi became available to commoners as well. Though renowned confectionaries such as Toraya boast to have the highest quality wagashi, I can testify that the ones found in department stores aren’t so bad either. Last summer when my family and I visited Fukouka, we came upon a little wagashi stall right in the center of a food court. Even in a crowded setting, the stall achieved true wagashi ambience. We were served wagashi on black lacquered plates accompanied by frothy cups of matcha, while sitting on traditional clothed benches under larger red paper umbrella. I was surprised and awed by their ability to promote tradition amidst such a chaotic urban setting.

Wagashi are usually quite small and made to resemble some element of beauty in nature. The Japanese took painstaking care in giving their wagashi the most beautiful names, usually drawing from nature and literature. They are also extremely concerned with the relationship between the wagashi served and the season. Color and cooking methods are among the criteria when determining which wagashi are appropriate.

Making wagashi is certainly not an easy task. Though the ingredients are simple and convenient to find (bean pastes, kanten, rice flour, fondant, food coloring), wagashi making requires nimble hands and an eye for detail. The wagashi featured this week is so simple that all you’ll need are saran wrap and roasted yams. This is a great way to cheat if you are ever short of time. I hope this recipe will also give readers without ovens a chance to participate. J

拉一張保潔膜,把烤蕃薯的從表皮中刮下

從各角落拉起保潔膜,緊緊地包裹旋轉

這原本要用布巾做的點心因為有保潔膜而變方便了,但布巾的好處是有透氣孔,施力比較有彈性,如果用保潔膜,得旋轉到覺得整個快爆破的程度。

輕輕打開再小心取出果子,那些自然的紋路非常重要,請小心保護。

地瓜表皮比較焦化的褐色部份與金黃在果子中形成好看的映照,我用地瓜皮做了一些蒂

也用抹茶粉為另一些做裝飾

媽媽要我用不同的茶墊來感受同一份點心的不同情調,不知道你比較喜歡哪一種感覺。