When I was researching Asian recipes to do for Valentine's Day, I didn't think there would be too many recipes that weren't just pretty and cute cookies and cakes. To my surprise, I came across these rose mantou buns. They remind me a lot of another "trendy" recipe this year, which were the apple rose tarts. Anyhow, I knew this recipe and technique would be both fun to make and fun to eat.
I went with beet root powder to be my sweetener and color, but a drawback of using natural food coloring is the color does change after the buns get cooked. What was once a brilliant purple, pink color turned more into a deep salmon orange. I loved how both colors looked, but if you want a different colored rose or just one that looks the more similar before and after steaming, then maybe going with food coloring is the better choice.
If any of you are interested, you can glam up this recipe by sprinkling scallions throughout the layers. Or if you want something less savory, then a light layer of sesame paste or even some cinnamon in the layers might be nice.