The Life and Times of a Japanese Candy Artist

For 17 years, Miyuki awed guests with her candy craftsmanship. JEFFCHRISTIANSEN/CC BY 2.0 AMEZAIKU IS THE TRADITIONAL JAPANESE practice of molding hot candy into artistic shapes before it hardens. This feat, traditionally accomplished by experienced craftsmen in front of a crowd, was once thought to be a fading art. But it’s been given a second life by social media and new …

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Wagashi design manuals

A red peach-shaped wagashi dominates this page. PUBLIC DOMAIN The Fabulous Design Manuals for Japan’s 19th-Century Sweets that range from elegant to surprisingly modern. Across Japan, recipes for elegant wagashi sweets made from adzuki beans, mochi, and agar-agar have been passed down over generations. But that wasn’t always the case. After culinary infusions from ancient China and the Portuguese, wagashi …

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Clear Toy Candy

In the 18th century, children in Pennsylvania would inevitably find a two-for-one gift in their Christmas stockings. Each piece of clear toy candy, a sweet pioneered by German immigrants, lives up to its name. As the treats were shaped like trains, ships, or animals, children could play with them before eating. Once also called barley …

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Sugar substitutes

Nothing is exactly identical to sucrose, but a good close-enough, readily-available substitute is dextrose. It’s about 70% as sweet as sucrose, and has similar baking properties, so you can substitute it in your recipe. The recipe may require further tweaking, but I’d start by substituting dextrose for half the sucrose and see where you need …

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Natural alternatives to sugar

Sucanat, turbinado or coconut sugar are the healthiest of the granulated sweeteners. Add either cornstarch or arrowroot into your blender and mix well. Ratio approx. 11/2 cups sweetener and 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot. This sweetener will work great in anything you would typically use powdered sugar for.


I always add a pinch of sugar when using tinned tomatoes as it takes away the acidic taste but be careful not to make them too sweet. Sugar also works in vinaigrettes, although again be careful to add just a pinch, it’s like salt in some respects, so can be treated as a seasoning. Angela …

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