There is a recipe of ‘Yaki-Mnju (焼きまんじゅう) / Baked Manju’ I normally use. That is a Japanese Sweet wrapped with biscuit. It is good. I like it. It is also something that Western people are quite familiar with.
We have a Japanese sweet called ‘Kuri-Manju (栗まんじゅう)’. That is a ‘Yaki-Manju’ with Chestnut ‘Kuri‘ pieces inside and made into a Chestnut shape. The skin of this sweet is slightly different from Western biscuit. It is much smoother and you can make it into some shapes.
This time I made ‘Yaki-Manju’ in the traditional way. I tried making some shapes with different filling.
This one is ‘Kuri-Manju‘ with Chestnuts ‘Kuri’.
Does it look like Chestnut to you?
Instead of using small pieces, I mixed Chestnut in syrup mixing with ‘Shiro-An (白あん)’ and that made the filling looks like a paste.
The second one I made was ‘Imo-Manju‘ with Sweet Potatoes ‘Satsuma-Imo“.
Although Sweet Potatoes became widely available, it is very difficult to find good one in the UK. The taste, sweetness and the texture is not the same as the one in Japan. I have to say Japanese Sweet Potato is the best. It is very sweet and has a crumbly texture that is suitable for making sweets.
In Japan we eat Sweet Potatoes by baking it on hot stones. It is called ‘Yaki-Imo (焼いも)’ which is so simple but the tastiest particularly with a bit of butter. Most foreign people who visited Japan say Yaki-Imo was the tastiest food they experienced in Japan.
Anyway, that ‘Yaki-Imo’ was the idea I wanted to re-create with this sweet having Sweet Potato pieces inside and also with the intention of making the shape of cut Sweet Potatoes … OK, not quite, yet. I wanted its top stay in lighter colour and the side skin become browned like Sweet Potato skin, but it did not happen this time. I have to work a little bit more on this one.
My search for the right products for the markets continues …