These are the ingredients. You can use heavy cream, but skim milk powder is healthier. Steam or bake the sweet potato beforehand.
To make the sweet potato paste, peel the sweet potato, mash, and use a mortar and pestle to mix with the other paste ingredients while it's still hot. Adjust the texture by adding water.
To make the dough, first stir together the sugar, instant coffee powder and 2 tablespoons of water in a cup and microwave for a short time. Mix well and leave to cool.
Mix the baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water together first, then add the egg yolk and stir well.
Combine the dough and baking soda mixture. Add this to the flour to make the manju dough and mix well. Shape into balls.
The dough will be quite sticky, so dust your hands with flour.
Wrap the sweet bean paste with the dough and place each dumpling onto a piece of parchment paper.
Steam the manju in a steamy steamer
If you don't have a steamer, place something that can act as a stand in a deep sauce pan. Choose something tall for this, so that the boiling water will not touch the manju.
Place a plate on the stand.
Cover the lid with a cloth so that the steam on the back of the lid will be absorbed by the cloth and won't drip on the manju.
Ok! We're ready now.
Put water in the bottom of the pan and heat over a high heat. When it starts to steam, arrange the manju on the plate in the pan. Cover and steam over high heat for 10 minutes.
They should look really nice, plump and glossy. Leave to cool.
Cool down with a fan to get smooth and glossy-looking manju.
Microwave the ingredients for drawing the faces. When the sugar and powder have dissolved, draw faces onto the manju with a toothpick.
I used almonds to make little rabbit ears.
Inside is the sweet potato paste.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to draw pretty faces on manju.
For making the sweet potato paste, you can use cream or milk instead of skim milk powder. If you use liquid for this, you don't have to add water. You can use the milk powder in coffee too. Adjust the texture by adding water and adjust the sweetness by increasing or reducing the amount of sugar as desired.