Cherry blossoms are not only viewed and admired, but also used for cooking during their blooming season in Japan. The very short and almost ephemeral life of cherry blossoms can be an embodiment of many things – changes in nature, fragility of our lives and also seasonality in cooking, for which Japanese cuisine is so well known for.
I couldn’t make it to Japan this spring, but was able to find a seller who could send me this sakura flavoured tree cake from Nenrinya baumkuchen store in Tokyo. As one can guess from the name, originally a German cake, baumkuchen was introduced to Japan after the First World War by a confectioner Karl Joseph Wilhelm Juchheim.
The countless layers of the” light as air” chiffon cake go perfectly with the delicate cherry blossom flavour and can only be bought during the hanami (花見) season. ( Here, tasted with sencha Uji tea from Tawaracho town near Kyoto. This tea is subtle, fresh, slightly sweet and very similar to gyokuro.)