Have you stepped on the phoenix seal inside of Reynolds Club? I hope not! Even if you have and are graduating late because of it, you can spend some of your extra time here enjoying this wagashi. This treat was fashioned after that storied slab of gold.
This wagashi is made out of nerikiri. Nerikiri is a type of dough frequently used to make namagashi, or raw wagashi. It is a mixture of rice flour, bean paste, and sugar. Before making nerikiri, I had to make shiro-an, white bean paste. I made the shiro-an out of lima beans. I molded the nerikiri dough into a square and etched into it using a needle tool.
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.