Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kuri Manju

If you know me, you'd know that I am a sucker for all Japanese goodies and in particular Japanese sweets (aka wagashi). Additionally, if you do the grocery shopping or buy Japanese goods in general, you'd know that it ain't cheap. No sir. Typically different sweets go for at least a dollar a pop so why not make your own? So here is Kuri Manju: a yummy baked confection often filled with some sort of bean paste. Making manju from scratch takes a lot of effort especially if you're making it yourself but it's totally worth it in the end. I sort of cheated in this recipe because I bought premade adzuki paste and precooked/prepealed chestnuts but hey whatever works for you! Next time, I might try and lotus seed paste filling. Unfortunately I did not get to taste these clearly myself because I got hit by the stomach flu the night after making these but according to my grandpa, they were great! I hope you enjoy these as much as everyone else did.

Kuri Manju
200 grams pastry flour (alternatively 150g cake flour + 50g all purpose flour)
50 grams sugar
25 grams butter
1 egg white
2 yolks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 package adzuki paste
1 package peeled and cooked chestnuts

1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Lightly beat the egg yolks and gradually add the mixture into creamed butter and sugar. When incorporated, gradually add in egg white. The resulting mixture should be smooth and velvety. If it is grainy, then you incorporated the eggs too quickly.
4. Mix flour and baking soda and add it to the wet ingredients from step 2.
5. Knead the mixture until it does not stick to your fingers and comes away easily from the bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
6. Divide rested dough into 20 equal portions. (If you have a scale, I think it is best to get the weight of the entire dough and pinch off the appropriate amount as you go so it doesn't dry out as quickly.)
7. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten dough. (I did not use a rolling pin but instead pinched and rotated the dough and flattened it between my palms.)
8. Fill the skin with a walnut-sized amount of adzuki and place half a chestnut in the center.
9. Stretch the dough over adzuki and chestnut and pinch the ends together to cover filling completely. Shape as desired. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
10. Arrange the manju on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until tops are browned as desired.
11. Serve with tea!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't had kuri manju for ages! Your photo of kuri manju is amazing! It must be very delicious. It is tedious to make but I'm sure it's all worth it at the end!