Japan: Mochi

So, I was all, "You know what would go really good after two types of barbecued meat? Ice cream! No...Mochi! That's so brilliant! Three countries, 1 day! BAM!"

I still contend that it was a brilliant idea...in theory.

25% success rate.

Let me detail some things that I think led to my failure:

1) It's hot outside, and we didn't have our AC on.
2) The recipe did not specify how large you should make your dough circles. Mine were too small.
3) My ice cream was (apparently) too soft to use. I didn't really think about the fact that some ice cream brands are just naturally softer than others. Soft ice cream will melt all over the place in approximately 3 seconds. Seriously.
4) My conversion from the metric system was approximate and not spot-on. Seriously--who can measure .4225 cups of water?

But mostly it was the ice cream. What a flipping disaster. Albeit a completely delicious disaster. Therein lies "the thing" about Mochi. Even if you screw up utterly and it looks awful, it will still taste AWESOME. So...I guess what I'm saying is that I had a 70% failure. A couple mochi worked out okay, most did not. But all were tasty.

Mochi Ice Cream (a very detailed, step-by-step recipe can be found here)
-50g Mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour) ~ 3 1/2 tablespoons
-100g sugar ~.435 cups
-100ml water ~.4225 cups
-150-200g ice cream ~.87 cups
-Cornstarch as needed

1. Spread cornstarch onto a cutting board. Use plenty so that the mochi dough does not stick to the cutting board.

2. Place the sweet rice flour in a microwave safe bowl. Add the water a little at a time, stirring until mixed well. Then, add the sugar and mix it well again.

3. Next, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a breather gap. Cook on medium in the microwave for 2 minutes. Dip a wooden spoon in water and mix the dough. Cook for about 1 more minute. You will be able to tell the dough is done when it turns shiny and smooth.

4. Dip your spoon in water and spread the dough onto the cutting board as flat as possible. The dough is HOT, so take care. (**Seriously. They are not screwing around. If you've ever been burned while melting sugar/making caramel, this is the type of hot burniness to which they are referring. It sticks to you and keeps burning. Yowza.**)

5. Cover the dough with corn starch and flip it over. Then, pull and stretch the edges to make the dough thinner.

6. Keep pulling and stretching until the dough is around 2-3 millimeters thin.

7. Leave to cool a little. When the dough is cool enough, cut it into rounds. This leaves you with nice, round mochi sheets.

8. To freeze the dough, cover each layer of mochi sheets with plastic wrap, dusted with cornstarch. Freeze.

9. To make into mochi, place ice cream onto the center of each mochi sheet. For a nice round mochi, use an ice cream scoop.

10. Fold and join the edges to wrap up mochi. Place in the freezer until eating time. After re-freezing and before eating, thaw a little bit--otherwise, it will be rock hard and difficult to eat.

One in four times, it works every time.

Obviously, now that I have a box of Mochiko and a brand new box of cornstarch, I will try to make these again. If anyone knows of a particularly hard brand of ice cream, send the suggestions this way! I think that upon retrying, I will spread the ice cream in a uniform manner onto a sheet pan and refreeze. I will then cut it into cubes and freeze again. THEN, I will make the dough and try wrapping them. I have a feeling cubes will be easier to wrap than mounds. But who knows.


cynnerth said...

Frozen custard freezes rock hard because it has a high butter fat content.

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