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    Momiji Manjū, A Lovely Japanese Gift

    By Derrick Theys This little Japanese cake is called a momiji manjū. It is made of buckwheat and rice, and comes with a variety of fillings, like red bean, custard, or chocolate. We bought a pack of momiji manjū on the island of Miyajima, in the bay of Hiroshima, where it is a speciality and a popular souvenir. They’re soft, spongy and delicious. Many of the cake shops have the machine that makes them right there in the window. A batter is poured into a hot maple-leaf shaped mold, a blob of filling is squeezed into the middle, and the mechanical arm folds the mold over to close it up.…