Wasanbon sugar is not widely known in western cuisine
, used mainly for Japanese Wagashi
. When I worked in Tokyo I came across this mild tasting sugar by acident, experimenting the use in western pastry. One such dessert is Wasanbon Blondie with roasted pine nut and pistachio nut, Valrhona white chocolate and Rose & Yuzu Macaroons
, a rather unusual combination. Wasanbon sugar is far more expansive than conventional sugar and many Pastry Chefs, in Japan and abroad do not use this rare sugar because of its cost. I however strongly believe such a wonderful tasting sugar can only enhance a simple dessert like a Blondie with so little ingredients.
400 gram Valrhona white Chocolate
310 gram Butter, soft, unsalted
200 gram Eggs, fresh
320 gram Wasanbon Sugar
065 gram Flour, sifted
022 gram Baking powder
080 gram Pine Nuts, roasted
045 gram Pistachio Nuts
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl. Combine the eggs with Wasanbon sugar and whisk creamy. Fold into chocolate-butter mixture and sift in the flour with baking powder. Fold in gently the nuts and pour into prepared baking dish lined with baking paper. Bake at 190 Celsius for 28 minutes.
Unmold to cool and slice into bars, arrange on plate with some Wasanbon syrup, Sakura, Rose and Yuzu Macaroons.
Wasanbon sugar is widely used in the world of Japanese sweets
. Wasanbon is a domestically produced light yellow sugar that is made through a traditional Japanese manufacturing process and a particular specialty in the Shikoku
region. As wasanbon sugar is made entirely by hand and the process is quite detailed, mass production is impossible. Due to this and other reasons, the price is higher than for ordinary sugar. The raw material is chikuto, a kind of sugarcane with a thin stem, and the manufacturing process is as follows :
Squeeze the liquid out of the chikuto using a squeezer and make shiroshita by boiling the liquid down.
Put the shiroshita into a big “boat” the size of a tatami (rushmat), and knead it while adding water.
Put the kneaded shiroshita into a bag made of hemp on the outside and cotton on the inside and wring.
Place the entire bag into a “pressing boat” made of wood, hang weights down from the tops of the cabers and apply pressure via the principle of leverage.
When pressure is applied, molasses is generated from the shiroshita. Place the shiroshita remaining in the bag, not the squeezed molasses, into the “boat” again and repeat the same process three to five times. The shiroshita remains in the bag, and is sifted through a sieve after being dried.
sugar crystals are fine, smooth and soft and melt in the mouth while generating an elegant sweetness. In the world of Japanese sweets, the taste of sugar is the life of the sweet and is a treasured part of all Japanese sweets.