Yokan羊羹 is a Japanese wagashi ( sweet ) and are typically eaten with tea. Yokan is a type of jelly confectionery normally made with red bean paste. The jelly is made with agar not gelatine so is a perfect tea time treat for the vegan diet. You may sometimes see yokan with seasonal fillings like persimmon, sweet potato or chestnuts.
This is a different kind of yokan instead of using bean paste I used Kabocha. Sometimes this is called Kabocha kan. It’s a delicious treat for an autumn tea time. Kabocha is a sweet pumpkin and works so well with desserts as well as savoury dishes.
All you need is to cut a Kabocha in half and scoop out the seeds. Steam the Kabocha until the skin is falling away from the flesh. Let the Kabocha cool and weigh the flesh you will need 300g
Cream the Kabocha with two tablespoons of maple syrup.
Add a cup of cold water to a pan and sprinkle in two teaspoons of agar agar powder. Give it a mix and bring the water to a steady simmer until the agar agar powder has dissolved. Take the water off the heat and mix in the Kabocha. The Kabocha will dissolve into the water as you keep stirring.
You can then pour the mixture into a container or if you have one you can use a Nagashikan. This is a stainless steel container with a removable inner tray. It’s one of my favourite kitchen gadgets.
To make the yokan even more seasonal I dropped in some whole roast chestnuts. You could also use the candied kind that are preserved in syrup called Kuri no kanroni.
Let your container cool a little then put it in the fridge to set. If using a Nagashikan this will slice it for you into six individual pieces, however if your not ease the yokan out of your container by going round the edge with a knife.
Slice to reveal the hidden chestnut inside, and serve with some sweet bean paste and your favourite tea.
You can also make this into a dessert by pouring the mixture into individual bowl instead of a container.