Yume Confections

by Grace Bonney

When I was in Portland a few weeks ago for the Portland Bazaar, I fell in love with these tiny tea cakes called Manju that were being sold by Gena Renaud of Yume Confections. During the first day of the Bazaar, Gena did a tasting of her incredible glass candy and these adorable tiny cakes. They’re traditional Japanese sweet bean cakes that are baked in the most beautiful little shapes and patterns. I bought two and carried them home like they were fragile baby chicks, and now they’re just sitting on my kitchen island, too pretty to be eaten. Then yesterday Turk decided to take a nap on one, and I took that as an invitation to break the wrapper and dig in. Like a lot of Japanese desserts, the sweetness isn’t quite what you’d expect from an American dessert, but it has a soft subtle flavor that would be a great afternoon snack with tea. I’m dying to order a ton to give as small gifts or stocking stuffers, but for now, I’m just going to covet my remaining bird-shaped cake. If you’ve never seen these sorts of sweets before, click here to check them out (and find a stockist near you) online. Thanks to Gena for sharing these photos! xo, grace

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