Monday, December 21, 2009

Molly D's Kitchen in Seattle: Butter Mochi

American pastries are usually made with wheat flour, which can provide great flakiness or a delicate cakey crumb, but if you’ve lived elsewhere and love food, you know that there are other textures out there. I grew up in Hawaii, and one of my favorite local treats is springy, soft rice-based mochi.

I know some mainland residents believe mochi is the ice cream-filled dessert they get at Japanese restaurants, but that’s mochi ice cream. Mochi is that little rice flour dumpling encasing the ball of ice cream. At its simplest, Japanese mochi can be made with just rice that is pounded into a paste and shaped, or it can be sweetened, flavored, and colored and wrapped around bean paste or peanut butter or fruit or anything else you want.

In Hawaii, cooks are also used to other Asian and Western influences, so we eat Chinese gau, deep fried poi mochi, and mochi banana bread. Most home cooks nowadays use mochiko flour instead of pounded rice, and the dishes they make can be sweet or savory and steamed, baked, microwaved, or fried for different results.

Hawaii’s Best Mochi Recipes is one of my favorite local cookbooks and a great source of all of the above. Today I wanted something eggy, and the butter mochi recipe on page 9 fit the bill. I've adapted it for my own, low-sugar needs, but if you want the beloved dense, crusty treat instead of the bready option I made, use two or three cups of sugar instead of my lowly 1/2 cup.

Butter Mochi

1 lb mochiko *
1/2 c sugar (see note above)
1 Tb baking powder
½ c butter or margarine
5 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 can coconut milk (12-oz)**

Melt butter and set aside to cool. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until batter is smooth. Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares. (If your knife sticks, try a plastic take-out knife.)

*I’ve included an Amazon link for mochiko in order to show you the box, but in many areas of the U.S. you can buy mochiko at Asian grocery stores, and in Seattle (and our last home in Denver) I could pick it up at the closest supermarket. By the way, brown rice flour will not produce the same result at all. It's a fine product, but it's not for mochi.
** The coconut milk does not add coconut flavor; you can sprinkle toasted coconut on top if you like.


Mochi on Foodista

1 comment:

  1. I tried this using the full recipe; it's almost like my mother's philippine bibkingka recipe made with cassava!


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