Bonsai are a beautiful and soothing way to connect with the traditional Japanese culture. Taking a moment out of your busy day to gaze upon one of the miniature trees, you’ll soon find yourself feeling calm and tranquil…and in the case of these very unique bonsai, hungry too.
Unlike purely decorative bonsai, Japanese candy maker Heart’s Okashi de Tsukuru Bonsai (“Making a Bonsai Out of Candy”) is edible too. And while some Japanese confectionaries require a talented artisan chef to look as visually appealing as they do, the Okashi de Tsukuru Bonsai is simple enough that anyone can make it, and requires no special tools beyond a mug, spoon, and toothpick.
▼ How to make the Okashi de Tsukuru Bonsai
The kit comes with three molding trays, chocolate candies, “leaf powder,” and a “pot” to put your finished tree in.
Don’t worry, you won’t be eating tree bark. Instead, you knead the chocolates in your hand, pressing them together, and fill them into the molds for the trunk and branches, using a toothpick to scrape the cross section smooth (and also adding a little extra mound in the middle of the trunk molds to help them stick together). Then you press the trunk molds together and put all of them in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
Once that’s done, you pop the chocolates out of the molds and use them to assemble your tree, which then gets another 30 minutes in the freezer.
As for the leaves/needles, they’re actually made of vanilla sponge cake, with a bit of green food coloring included in the mix. Simply mix the “leaf powder” in a mug with 10 milliliters (0.3 ounces) of water, stir it with a spoon, and pop it in the microwave at 500 watts for 50 seconds.
Once the trunk/branches are done with their 30-minute chill period, use the toothpick to apply the “leaves,” in whatever artistic distribution you desire.
The Okashi de Tsukuru Bonsai is priced at 350 yen, but if you’re an especially enthusiastic sweets gardener, you can also purchase a six-kit bundle through Amazon Japan here.
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