If you have ever been inside a Japanese bakery, you’ll know that the cakes and pastries may look similar to those that you would find in a French bakery, but that they feature slightly more unusual flavors, such as black sesame, green tea and red bean. Okashi: Sweet Treats Made With Love is a great book to start with, whether you’re already a fan of Japanese baked goods or are just looking to expand your recipe collection to a different style of sweet.
As is the case with most cookbooks, this starts off with a section that is dedicated to baking basics, including a discussion of techniques and ingredients. Since the flavors used in this book are a bit more “exotic”, this introductory section is a great place to learn a little more about the products used to get those traditional Japanese flavors into your recipes. The rest of the recipes are divided up into chapters by type, including a section on basic recipes, special occasion recipes and even a few recipes that are pet-friendly! You’ll find lots of chiffon cake recipes, swiss roll cakes and sponge cakes, as well as cream puffs, cookies and cheesecakes, as well as a wide variety of other baked goods. The recipes are very clearly written and easy to follow along with, even if you don’t have previous experience baking with flavors like matcha and sweet potato.
Japanese pastries are known for being light and delicate, and the recipes in this book are no exception. While French baking techniques are used, the finished products are distinctly Japanese and fans of those delicate Japanese cakes will definitely love the results they get here. The recipes are all illustrated with stunning photos of the finished products, as well as with step-by-step photos that walk you through the process of making the recipes and help ensure that your creations turn out to be just as lovely as those pictured in the book.