Friday, August 30, 2013

Strawberry Mochi & Black Sesame Mochi 苺大福と黒胡麻大福

Meow honestly don't make desserts "just because", I usually need a reason or an excuse.  Today's excuse was that Meow father wanted to try the mochi I made a few days earlier.  But being out of town, the mochi were a few days stale.  They're still good, but "not fresh".  What good daughter serves her father stale mochi anyway?  So, Meow made a fresh batch.  And since I'm making a fresh batch, I decided to throw in a couple of new fillings to try - black sesame and strawberry.

Reason for black sesame: Mr. Meow likes them.
Reason for strawberry: Meow has seen many blogs that have done this and concludes that it is popular (and Meow secretly likes/hoards strawberries)
Reason to make a new batch all together: the dough from the last batch was rather soft, barely stands on its own.  Need to play around with flour to water ratio to find sweet spot.

That's enough of an excuse I think...

Mochi Dough
Adapted from Wagashi Maniac

150 g mochiko, Japanese glutinous rice flour
180 mL water
120 g granulated sugar
1 cup potato starch, maybe more

Yield: Enough for 14 mochi

Strawberry Mochi 苺大福

7 small strawberries, washed and hulled
105 g shiro-an, white bean paste
     (15 g per strawberry)

Black Sesame Mochi 黒胡麻大福
Adapted from Wagashi Maniac

100 g roasted black sesame
20 g sesame oil
30 g light corn syrup

*Only 70 g of resulting paste is required

Make the mochi dough

1. Pot a pot of water to boil and set a steamer rack inside

2. In a glass bowl, add the mochiko

3. Add water and sugar, whisk lightly to combine until smooth

4. When water boils, set the glass bowl and steam for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to break the chunks and combine with liquid portions.  It is done when translucent

5. Prepare a big and a small plate and dust generously with potato starch

6. Scrape the mochi dough onto the dusted big plate, dust the top with more potato starch.  Pat the dough to flatten and even out

7. Allow to cool slightly until you are able to handle the dough, the hotter the better

8. Use a wet knife or a pizza cutter, cut pieces that are about 2" x 2" to 3" x 3" squares

9. Tear off a piece of cut dough and flatten to stretch the dough

For Strawberry Mochi
*Dust the mochi with more potato starch at any time to keep from sticking

1. Wash and hull the strawberries, pat dry.  (Hull means cut of the green tops and the white part)

2. Take 15 g of shiro-an, flatten it out, and wrap it from bottom up on the strawberry

3. Place the strawberry, tip down, onto the piece of mochi dough and gather and pinch to close at the bottom

Yes, I did this backwards and then realized everything hides better on the underside!

4. Roll and massage the mochi in your palms to smooth out creases

5. Use a dab of light corn syrup to stick any decorations on top.  If dusting with powders, no need for syrup

*These don't keep well at all, consume the same day and keep refrigerated

For Black Sesame Mochi

1. Make black sesame paste by toasting sesame in a dry non-stick frying pan until fragrant if they are not pre-roasted already

2. Then grind the roasted black sesame in a food processor until oils begin secreting

3. Add sesame oil and continue grinding until desired fineness is reached

4. Add light corn syrup and mix by hand

It can form a mass this tight and shiny after adding corn syrup,
so don't try to continue mixing in the food processor, you'll break it!

5. Weigh out 10 g of black sesame paste for each mochi, roll in palm to form balls

6. Wash hands so they are grease-free, you don't want greasy mochi

7. Place a ball of black sesame paste into your flattened, stretched out mochi dough and gather and pinch at the top to close

8. Roll and massage mochi in palms to smooth out creases

9. Use a dab of light corn syrup and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top, sprinkle a bit more and press down to stick


The strawberry mochi were just fan-fucking-tastic.  It was a really interesting mix of flavours.  There was the sweetness of the mochi dough and the bean paste, contrasted by the juicy tartness of the strawberries.  Mr. Meow did a "wow" when I shoved one in his face during his GTA IV session and he finally noticed what was being served.  He even perked up when the flavours hit him.  It was rather epic.  He then headed to the kitchen and wanted to grab a black sesame one which was denied since I haven't taken photos of it yet.

Biting into the black sesame one after the strawberry mochi was kinda anti-climatic.  It was quite hard to live up to such an epic beginning.  It was good, the texture and sweetness were well balanced, but lacked "wow".  The black sesame paste was fragrant, though the whole experience was overshadowed by the strawberry mochi unfortunately.

As for the dough, this time, it was noticeably less elasticy.  It also cooled and dried out quicker, but it was less "floppy" than the previous recipe.  It was also more difficult to massage the creases out of this dough.  The recipe which this was adapted from suggested to add corn syrup to the dough to make it softer, I think it could have used some corn syrup.  The last dough had the same recommendation, but I didn't find it necessary.  Texture-wise, I couldn't tell the difference.

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