Easy Mini Mochi Cakes and Red Bean Ice Cream

Happy 2012!
Hope you all had a nice time last night.  We stayed in, watched a movie and saw the ball drop in Times Square on the tube. We ate popcorn and mochi, and drank Moet (the little one had sparkling lemonade).  My days of celebrating in loud, crowded places are over.  Being a small person, it is always unpleasant to be in the midst of a crowd anyway, because with people towering over me on all sides, it always feels like I’m about to be crushed or trampled on.  I totally identify with kids and Hobbits in these situations!

One of the good luck Japanese foods commonly eaten at New Year’s is mochi (a sticky rice cake).  I couldn’t find any at the Asian market in our neighborhood, but they had rice flour and canned red beans, so I thought I would try to make some on my own.

The traditional way of making mochi takes hours — rice is cooked and then pounded with wooden mallets until soft and chewy.  Most home cooks use Mochiko — a rice flour that you can find at stores.  There is a stove top method and a microwave method that I found online. I opted for the easiest route and chose the latter.

Sweet Rice Flour

You just mix the rice flour with water and sugar and a couple drops of food coloring if you desire in a microwave safe bowl.

Flour, water, sugar, and two drops of food coloring

Pink Goo

Cover with saran.  Cook for about 2 minutes.

Carefully remove saran and spoon out mochi on a board dusted with potato starch or corn starch.

Mochi blob

Shape into little balls and spoon a bit of bean paste on center.

Pinch edges over to cover and pat into a round disc.

Pinching together at center first.

Gently pinch other sides together.

Easy peasy.  I made mini ones because I love all things small.  Also, the flavor is so intense, I find that mini ones go a long way!  Aren’t they cute?

With the leftover can of adzuki bean paste, I decided to make Red Bean Ice Cream.  We had just been visiting the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory yesterday, and I noticed it was one of their flavors.  If you haven’t been there before, check it out the next time you are in NYC.  They have all kinds of exotic flavors like Taro, Lychee, Black Sesame, as well as amazing traditional ones.

I made a simple cream based (as opposed to custard based) ice cream that was pretty light.  I used some leftover heavy cream, non-fat lactose free milk, sugar, vanilla, and some sugar-free Torani syrup I recently bought.  I whizzed it up in the blender and poured it into the ice cream maker.  At the very end, I threw in the leftover bean paste which was about 1/4 -1/3 cups (I had made two and a half batches of mochi beforehand).

I have to say that this is one of the most delicious ice creams I’ve ever made! Maybe it’s because I had never had red bean ice cream before, and I never knew what I was missing!

On reflection, 2011 was a great year for The Hungry Artist blog.  I gained a lot of subscribers, and visits to my blog have grown so much since it began.

The top three popular posts of last year were:

It comes vacuum packed.

I want to thank all of you for reading.  I wish you all a wonderful 2012!!

Thank you!!

Mini Mochi Cakes with Red Bean Paste

Small can of adzuki sweet beans

1/2 cup Mochiko Rice Flour

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons water

food coloring if desired

potato starch or cornstarch for dusting

1.  Coarsely mash about 2 tablespoons of beans in a small bowl. Set aside.

2.  Mix rice flour and water and sugar and food coloring if using in a bowl.  Cover with saran.  Microwave on high for two minutes.

3.  Let sit a minute or two.  Carefully remove saran (I wore oven mitts!) to release steam.  Dump mochi out onto generously dusted work board.

4.  Dust hands with starch and take a clump of dough and roll into a ball.  Press into a flat disc.  Spoon a bit of paste in center.  Pull up sides to cover.  Roll and pat into a small disc.  Repeat with remaining dough and paste.  The dough is VERY sticky.  Be patient.  It helps to have hands dusted.

Makes about six mini cakes.

I wrap mine in saran and then store in an airtight container.  I don’t refrigerate it, but eat it quickly!

All wrapped up.

Red Bean Ice Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cup milk (I used nonfat, but whole fat would make it creamier)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons Torani French Vanilla syrup (or just use 2 more tablespoons sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

about 1/4- 1/3 cup of sweet red beans

1.  Blend all ingredients except beans in a blender for about 30 seconds.

2.  Pour into an ice cream maker.  Follow your machine’s instructions for freezing.  At the end of the churning, throw in beans and mix to incorporate.  Transfer to a container and freeze in freezer until hard.

Makes about 2 pints.

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15 Comments

Filed under Desserts

15 responses to “Easy Mini Mochi Cakes and Red Bean Ice Cream

  1. Love mochi! The ice cream looks delicious too. Happy New Year!!

  2. The cakes are so cute! Everything looks wonderful and red bean ice cream is a favorite, should try making it next time 🙂
    Happy 2012!

  3. Thank you for visiting CICF! Glad that you loved our ice cream! I love your recipe and will try it at home!
    Cheers! Christina
    PS Would it be ok to repost your recipe to my blog and credit you and your blog?

  4. I’m saving that recipe for Banana PB Cake… it looks like a winner!
    And I’m really intrigued by peanut flour… I’m assuming it’s still discontinued at Trader Joes?

    • Unfortunately it is discontinued! 😦 I asked about it and they said it wasn’t a popular seller.
      I found out that the pb flour at southerngracefarms.com is the same as the one that TJ used to sell though. I bought a case. It’s the same price, but you have to pay for shipping, unfortunately (that’s why I bought so much at once!). But it’s exactly the same, and I love it!

  5. i luv mochi! didn’t know it was a traditional japanese new year dish though. for new year’s, my family always said eating pork was good luck, but it’s not like we needed an excuse to eat some pig

  6. So cuto! I’ve only recently had mochi at a new sushi joint in Cayman and I thought it was super fun. I loved the sticky, pasty texture of the mochi. Glad to know its so easy to make at home 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    • I love the sticky texture too. It’s funny because my son doesn’t care for that part but he loves the red bean. So the ice cream made him happy. I’ve also seen mochi filled with ice cream that is so good — but that would be a challenge to make….!

  7. I love mochi cakes, and I love the process of making mochi – there’s something soothing about it/
    Beautiful cakes!

  8. That ice cream looks so good! I’ve never even heard of red bean ice cream, but I’d like to try it by the looks of it. Thank you for sharing! Happy New Year!!

  9. i’ve only had brown rice mochi that comes in sheets that puff up in the oven — I didn’t know you could make your own.

  10. Pingback: Easy Mini Mochi Cakes and Red Bean Ice Cream

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