Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

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Ajisai kinton
(hydrangea kinton)

This sweet can be made in many colors depending on your preference.  The yellow/gold jewels of kanten (agar agar) on top symbolize dew.

For the kanten:
kanten (agar agar) 3.5gm or 1/2 stick
water 225cc (0.9c.)
sugar 75gm (2.64oz)
mizuame (or light corn syrup) 1.5 tsp
yellow food color (approx. 1 small drop)

Preparation:
Wash the kanten well in cold water and remove any black/brown specks. Soak in fresh cold water to cover for a couple of hours. Squeeze the excess water from the kanten and tear into small pieces. Place the kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low heat until the kanten is dissolved stirring now and again. Be careful that the mixture doesn't boil too high as it will become too thick.

Add the sugar and mizuame, or light corn syrup, after the kanten is completely dissolved. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Be careful that you do not cook too long or the kanten will become too hard.) Turn off the heat and mix in a small amount of yellow food color, to achieve a golden color. Stir in well. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a nagashikan, lined mold, that is approximately 7" X 7" and let cool. Bubbles can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the surface. Once cool unmold and cut into approximately 1/8" squares.  (note - Any container of the same approximate size can be substituted for the nagashikan.)

For the ajisai kinton:
Make small balls of
an (bean paste) approx. 15gm (1/2oz) for the center. Press the prepared an through a sieve forming strands. (Coarser or finer mesh will create different finished effects.) Use damp pointed bamboo chopsticks to gather a small pile of strands. Place a small ball of an on top of the gathered strands. Continue to place strands around the an ball, pressing lightly so they stick together, until desired shape is created. A good size finished sweet is about 40gm to 45gm (approx. 1 1/2oz).

Using pointed chopsticks place some of the kanten jewels around the top of the sweet.


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