From strawberry daifuku to yuzu ice cream, Japan makes some of the best desserts in the world.
With these great recipes (and some patience in the kitchen) you can try Japan’s sweetest treats without even getting on a plane…
1. Crispy cream puffs
The Japanese are very partial to a cream puff or two and indeed the ready-made varieties are pretty much everyone’s favourite. Make your own power-puff treats and fill with cream once cool.
2. Japanese cotton-soft cheesecakes
Soft, pillowy and light, Japanese cheesecake is very different from the western version. These beauties are topped off with cherry-flavoured buttercream and raspberry sugar too… wowzers.
3. Japanese chocolate cake
The Japanese are pretty good at copying an idea and doing it even better (see whisky). Judging by this particular creation, it’s the same thing all over again…
4. Yuzu ice cream
Yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit, is coveted by chefs around the world and used to be really hard to find outside Japan. Now you can even buy it in Sainsbury’s, which means this ice cream is very much an option.
5. Custard pudding pots
Reminiscent of the traditional Japanese dessert purin pudding, these silky smooth caramel cream pots are to be savoured one spoon at a time.
6. Strawberry and cream roll
Earn your stripes this summer with this little masterpiece, made by piping alternative colours of cake batter across a Swiss roll tin… oh, the Japanese are clever.
7. Japanese dorayaki
Two soft pancakes filled with sweet red bean paste… OK, you’ve got our attention.
8. Japanese milky madeleines
Another French dessert did better by Japan. These seashell-shaped beauties taste of milk and honey… totally divine.
9. Dunkin' cat doughnuts
They don’t leave doughnuts undecorated in Japan: in fact, they give they given them cute little cat faces. Aww.
10. Green tea pancakes
Not your average pancake, that’s for sure… they’re green, for a start.
11. Castella cake
Now a speciality of Nagasaki, the cake was originally brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century… obviously a timeless classic, then.
12. Piggy panna cotta
Based on the traditional Japanese recipe, this Japanese-style panna cotta couldn’t be cuter if it tried. Oh dear… looks like we’re investing in a piggy-shaped mould tray.
13. Mitarashi Dango
A traditional Japanese dessert – these sweet balls of rice flour have been enjoyed in Japan since the 17th century. Sometimes simple is best.
14. Strawberry daifuku
Strawberries wrapped in Anko (sweet red bean paste) and then mochi (glutinous rice). A modern interpretation of two classic Japanese sweets – and my god, it works.