Sep 17, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Sakura-Saku (Cherry Blossom Blooming)

Sakura-Saku (Cherry Blossom Blooming) by Kei Hasegawa. Photo by Anthony Tahlier.

Cherry blossom genoise, cherry blossom syrup, white chocolate beets cream by Kei Hasegawa, Pastry Chef of Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, CA.


Yield: 8 servings

Cherry Blossom Genoise:

  • 2.1 oz/60 g milk
  • 1.4 oz/40 g unsalted butter
  • 10 cherry blossom leaves
  • 6.3 oz/180 g whole eggs
  • 5.3 oz/150 g granulated sugar
  • 3.8 oz/110 g cake flour

1. Bring milk, butter and cherry blossom leaves to a boil, stirring until butter is melted. Blend well with blender. 

2. Whip eggs with sugar to full volume. Fold in cake flour. Gently fold in milk mixture and pour into lined quarter sheet pan. Bake at 356°F for 10 minutes.

Cherry Blossom Syrup Base and Cherry Blossom Chips:

  • 8.8 oz/250 g water
  • 8.8 oz/250 g granulated sugar
  • 24 cherry blossom leaves

1. Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Cool. 

2. Soak leaves in the syrup in the refrigerator for 3 days. 

3. To make the chips, place the infused cherry blossom leaves in a dehydrator until dry.

Cherry Blossom Syrup:

  • 7 oz/200 g water
  • 10.5 oz/300 g Cherry Blossom Syrup Base

Mix water and syrup base and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 1.3 oz/38 g egg yolks
  • 0.5 oz/15 g water
  • 1.3 oz/37 g granulated sugar
  • 0.1 oz/3 g gelatin sheets, bloomed
  • 5.3 oz/150 g mascarpone 
  • 5.3 oz/150 g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

1. Begin whipping egg yolks at medium speed. 

2. Meanwhile, cook water and sugar to 243°F. Add gelatin to syrup, then add the hot syrup to the whipping yolks. Whip at medium-high speed until cooled to room temperature. Add mascarpone and mix until blended. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

Cherry Sorbet: 

  • 4.2 oz/120 g glucose powder
  • 1 oz/30 g dextrose powder
  • 7 oz/200 g granulated sugar
  • 0.14 oz/4 g sorbet stabilizer
  • 4.7 oz/135 g water
  • 2.2 lb/1 kg Capfruit sour cherry puree
  • 0.5 oz/15 g lemon juice

1. Combine dry ingredients.

2. Heat water to 113°F and stir in dry ingredients. Cook to 185°F; remove from heat and strain. Cool. 

3. Add puree and lemon juice. Process in batch freezer.

White Chocolate Beet Cream: 

  • 2.4 oz/70 g beet juice
  • 0.1 oz/3 g glucose syrup
  • 3.2 oz/93 g deZaan Obsession 30 white chocolate
  • 2.6 oz/75 g heavy cream
  • 0.05 oz/1.5 g gelatin sheets, bloomed

In saucepan, bring beet juice and glucose syrup to a boil. Stir in bloomed gelatin. Pour over white chocolate, creating an emulsion with spatula. Stir in cream and chill.

Compressed Cherries: 

  • 16 whole cherries

Pit cherries, place in vacuum bag and seal. Place the bag onto the vacuum sealer and pull at 100% vacuum on the cherries.

Powdered Beets:

  • 5.3 oz/150 g beets
  • 7 oz/200 g whole eggs
  • 0.4 oz/12 g egg yolks
  • 2.8 oz/80 g granulated sugar
  • 0.07 oz/2 g salt
  • 2.8 oz/80 g cake flour

1. Slice the beets and seal with vacuum machine. Cook in microwave about 3 minutes, or until beets are soft; cool. 

2. Blend beets and remaining ingredients in blender and strain into whip cream dispenser. Add 2 chargers, shake well and dispense 2/3 full to paper cup with some holes. Cook about 40 seconds in microwave and cool down. Remove from paper cups, tear into small pieces by hand and place in dehydrator until dry.

3. Use strainer to make a powder after drying.

Pistachio Powder: 

  • 1.76 oz/50 g PreGel pistachio paste
  • 0.7 oz/20 g tapioca maltodextrin
  • 0.17 oz/5 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 0.1 oz/3 g green tea powder

Mix all ingredients with food processor until a powder forms.

Dry Cherry Blossom Flowers:

  • 24 salted cherry blossom flowers

1. Rinse salted cherry blossom flowers with water and soak overnight to remove salt.

2. Blot the flowers with paper towels to remove excess water. Cook for 20 seconds in microwave until the flowers start popping. Keep in dehydrator until dry.

Chocolate Branches: 

  • deZaan Temptation 64 dark chocolate, tempered, as needed
  • 17 oz/500 ml 40% spirits
  • Chocolate velvet spray, as needed (50% chocolate to 50%  cocoa butter)

1. Keep 40% spirits in freezer overnight.

2. Pipe tempered deZaan Temptation 64 into the cold spirits. Dry at room temperature and finish branches with velvet spray.


Cut the genoise into 1/2” x 4” pieces and soak the sponge with Cherry Blossom Syrup. Pipe Mascarpone Cream on soaked sponge. Sauce plate with White Chocolate Beet Cream and place 2 pieces of Compressed Cherries on plate. Sprinkle some Powdered Beets and Pistachio Powder on top. Arrange a quenelle of Cherry Sorbet on plate. 


Click here to read more about this and related recipes in the article "CRPC 4: Freaks of the Industry - Episode 3."

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