It is Valentines Day here in Japan! So, Happy Valentines Day to all! Tonight we have some plans to go out to a Japanese restaurant and I have a few goodies to give my love. How about you? Any plans or do you skip Valentines Day? We don’t make a huge deal about the day but we usually get each other a little something and do dinner out.
I thought you may be interested in how the Japanese celebrate Valentines Day, I find it very interesting! If you have a special tradition, please share it as I love to learn other cultures and traditions as well!
Most people assume that Valentines day is mostly a “woman’s” holiday where it’s the man whom is usually the gift giver, whether it be chocolates, cards, flowers or anything else. This does not ring true here in Japan though. It is rather a “men’s” holiday. It is when women throughout Japan go shopping and usually purchase beautiful boxes of chocolates for pretty much any man they desire including their spouse, significant other and even bosses and co-workers.
Last week I was out at one of the Japanese grocery store, Universe and they had their massive display of candies and boxes of chocolate!! They had so many beautiful boxes of chocolate, in all shapes, sizes and gift wrapped for you already. The prices started at around 550¥ and up to well over 1500¥. I am not sure what any of the pretty chocolates were or what may be inside of them but hey…chocolate IS chocolate and I am sure they are divine!
Don’t worry though, there is a “day” for women here too when men give them gifts. It is called “White Day”, when the men return gifts to the women they received one from, one month earlier on Valentines day. Very interesting if you ask me. The top 5 gifts for men to get their woman on White Day are:
- Stuffed Animals
- For The Cake;
- 2½ cups Cake Flour
- 1½ cups Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 large Eggs
- 1½ cups Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Red Food Coloring
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Distilled White Vinegar
- *For The Frosting*
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
- 5 tablespoons unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2½ cups Confectioners' Sugar, sifted
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Line mini cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.
- Beat on medium speed until it is well blended.
- Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Divide the batter evenly, about 2 teaspoon per mini cupcake liner.
- Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove to wire rack, let cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting. combine cream cheese and butter. Beat on medium speed until well blended and smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until totally incorporated.