Shirley Wong, better known as Little Miss Bento, has a passion for Japan and kawaii food. She loves to make bento, sushi art, breads, tarts and sweets. Her new book Kawaii Sweet Treats has just been released in Europe and the USA. We would like to give you a sneak preview (^_^)
Shirley shares a wide variety of kawaii treats in her book. She often includes matcha and other tea flavours in her recipes. This way the treats will get a nice flavour and natural colouring to them.
Kawaii Sweet Treats starts with descriptions and pictures of all the basic tools and common ingredients. I think this is very helpful, as a guide what to look out for in (Asian) supermarkets and stores.
Next up are 12 pages with basic techniques for the recipes. You’ll learn how to prepare cookie dough, bao, momoyama wagashi and more. The accompanying pictures really help to understand these techniques.
Now on to the core of the book: the kawaii recipes! You get to choose from 33 recipes, divided into various sections: pudding & jellies, cookies, snacks, bao and cakes.
The recipe pages are very well laid out. At the top left you’ll find the difficulty level, ranging from 1 to 4. Many recipes fall into level 1 and 2, but there are 8 recipes at a higher level to keep you challenged. The ingredients list and instructions are very clear. The only information that I missed was the total preparation time. All the recipes come with one beautiful large picture and if needed some smaller pictures to explain the techniques.
Not all the recipes have got kawaii faces and about half of them are more generally cute, such as the Button Cookies pictured above. This way you can also prepare treats for people who aren’t big on character food. Luckily Shirley does seem to share my passion for food with faces :3
I can’t wait to try the recipes, starting with the Chick Pull-apart Bao for Easter. I’m not that experienced with baking yet, but the level 1, 2 and 3 recipes look very achievable. Since I haven’t tried a recipe yet, I can’t say anything about the taste. But judging by the ingredients the treats shouldn’t be too sweet or artificial, which is a plus in my book!
(This book was provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are honest and all photos are my own.)