Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

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Kiku (konashi)
(chrysanthemum)

Ingredients:
white koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) 300gm (10.6oz) (a little harder than for the centers)
flour 30gm (approx. 3T)
mochiko (sweet rice flour) 3gm (approx. 1tsp)
granulated sugar 15gm (approx. 1/2oz)
mitsu (sugar water syrup)
white koshian (sweet bean paste) 200gm (7oz) for centers
yellow food color

Preparation:
For the mitsu - (This sugar water syrup can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator.) Dissolve equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. When the sugar is melted transfer to a glass container and let it cool.

For the konashi - Knead the flour and mochiko into the koshian until it is completely incorporated. Place the mixture in a cloth lined steamer and steam over medium/high heat for approximately 15 minutes or until all of the raw flour taste is gone.

Remove the cloth, and bean paste, from the steamer and knead further using clean damp cotton towels. As you knead the bean paste, slowly incorporate the sugar. (If the bean paste gets too sticky it can be kneaded using plastic film like Saran Wrap.) Once the sugar has been completely incorporated, and the bean paste has cooled slightly, the mitsu can be added. Continuing to use a damp towel knead in a small amount of the mitsu (approx. 1 to 2tsp). Coat the outside of the konashi with some mitsu and place in a glass bowl to cool completely for several hours. The bowl can be covered with plastic wrap after it cools to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead further using a little mitsu on your hands to prevent sticking.

NOTE - If coloring or flavoring is going to be used it can be kneaded in after the mitsu.

To make chrysanthemum shaped sweets, prepare light yellow, or other suitable colored, konashi. Wrap about 30gm (1oz) konashi around a 15gm (0.5oz) ball of white an (sweet bean paste). The finished shape should be slightly flattened and not round like a ball. Using a small piece of wood with a sharp edge (like a kamaboko [fish cake] board), press the pointed edge into the center of the konashi. Rotate the sharp edge of the board to the far outside surface creating an indented line. Do this many times around the sweet so you create the shape of a chrysanthemum. A little white an that has been pressed through a fine sieve can be placed in the center of the finished sweet. (You can make a little indentation in the center of the sweet with your finger before placing the an in.)

One recipe makes approximately 10 to 12 sweets.

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