TODAY’S SWEET: Momiji Manjū（紅葉饅頭）
Momiji Manjū is a kind of Japanese cake usually filled with sweet bean paste, and in the shape of a maple tree leaf(the meaning of the term "momiji"). This sweet is particularly popular to buy in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Miyajima. Today I was lucky enough to receive Momiji Manjū, which was a gift from my father's business meeting. The particular Momiji Manjū I had the delight of eating was most likely from Miyajima.
While the filling is, as mentioned previously, usually Japanese sweet bean paste (anko, if you've ever heard of it), the one I happened to eat was filled with custard. There were also other fillings available besides custard and anko, like green tea, and chocolate. I chose this particular filling because I have an affinity for Japanese custard confections-- Shyu-cream(cream puffs), pudding, etc... And happen to have a condition of constantly yearning for the stuff. This okashi(sweet) satisfied this very craving wonderfully.
The cake around the filling was quite thin and soft, which was slightly surprising because that's not the texture I often identify with manjū (because I often associate manjū with mochi, which has a more doughy feel). The thing that I love about manjū is it seems that the dominant aspect of it is the filling. A manjū with the usual bean paste is firm to the touch, because the bean paste has cooled and hardened slightly. However, since I chose the custard filling, the manjū was a bit softer and fluffier. But still... it was delicious.
Until next time,