Botany Pond Amber Jelly (植物学池こかくかん)

Nothing makes a University of Chicago student long for spring like seeing the koi start to move about in Botany Pond.  To celebrate the first warm days of the season, I modeled this wagashi after it!

Wagashi artisans typically draw inspiration from the nature around them.  Our little pond is the closest thing we have to natural inspiration, so I chose to use it as a confectionery emblem of fresh beginnings and spring romance.

I made this gelatin using houji-cha, a variety of green tea.  One of the options is for the gelatin to be crystal clear.  I chose instead to represent the pond after a pop-up spring shower that has made the pond a bit murkier than usual.

The “rocks” at the bottom of the jelly are sweet kuromame black beans.  The green maple leaves are made from nerikiri, a mixture of sugar, bean paste, and rice flour.

1botany pond jelly

2 IMG_0116

3 IMG_0122

4 IMG_0125

5 IMG_0149

6

7 IMG_0151

8 IMG_0155

9 IMG_0156