When I go shopping at an Asian market, I will almost always buy a package of momiji manju, a sweet, steamed cake filled with red bean paste and molded in the shape of a maple leaf. I was introduced to manju at the age of fourteen, when I won a game of hiragana flash cards in my Japanese class and was awarded the sweet cake for my efforts. I was skeptical, but it was delicious. Love at first bite, if you’ll pardon the cliche.
Now I would very much like to learn how to duplicate this treat. Many internet searches have turned up sparse results; there is a traditional manju recipe on about.com, but the picture gives me pause. The manju that I love are browned on the outside and the dough inside is a pleasant yellow color. I decided to do a more specific search, this time on momiji manju instead of just manju. A search for a recipe didn’t turn up much, but then again, I was searching a commercial product. Then I realized, hey, I now possess a decent knowledge of cakes and other baked goods, so I tried to search for the ingredients, and turned up this blog entry.