If you visit Japanese bakeries, chances are you'll come across confectionaries that are as cute as they are tasty. Among the array of delicious treats are nerikiri wagashi, meaning Japanese sweets. This style of dessert was invented during the Edo period and encompasses items that are made using mochi (pounded rice), anko (azuki sweet red bean paste), and occasionally fruit. With these materials, food artists can create amazing designs. One such person is Masaaki Miyaki, who debuted an adorable collection of South Pole cakes.
At his bakery, Gogashi Beniya Miyake, he specializes in wagashi inspired by adorable animals. His arctic series features a group of white seals and a colony of baby penguins. To enhance the kawaii traits, or “cuteness,” of these characters, he makes their bodies spherical and their facial features minimalist. Then, Miyake displays his finished creations on an ocean-blue tray dotted with kohakuto, or ambered sugar pieces, which resemble pieces of ice.
In addition to baby seals and penguins, he also creates other visually satisfying confections. Some of his other treats look like sloths, foxes, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. Whatever he cooks up next, it's sure to be lovable.