(Reed Stevenson points out that manju are typically steamed, not griddled. We’ve ID‘d the cakes as a form of kasutera.)
Kasutera are a type of small cake. In this case, they were filled with red bean paste. Walking around the streets of Hakone, I spotted this decidedly steampunk kasutera maker.
Driven by a single motor hooked up to a bicycle chain, this machine would drop a ring down on the hot griddle and fill it with cake batter, then red bean paste, then more cake batter.
The cake would then rotate for half a turn on the hot griddle until it was flipped. Once the cake made it around and was fully cooked, an operator would lift it off the machine, drop the cake into a box and put the ring back in the machine, where it would crawl up a chain, get dropped back on the griddle and the whole process would start up again.
I watched this thing for about 15 minutes, waiting for it to jam up or otherwise fail. It worked flawlessly. Software developers could take a lesson or two from this machine’s bug-free operation.
PS - The cakes were tasty.Posted by pmk at April 26, 2004 3:41 PM | TrackBack