Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homemade mochi ice cream!

Brownie here! It's been a whirlwind fall--I married my longtime taste-tester in August and am working on proposing my dissertation--there hasn't been opportunity for much baking!

Pro tip: let them refreeze before slicing!
We'd both been craving some Japanese treats and so I ventured to our local Japanese market, and there I spotted Shiratamako flour, made from pounded sweet rice. We had tried making mochi with Mochiko flour before and hadn't been successful, although I attribute that to my possessed college microwave. I had read that using Shiratamako was a little more fool-proof, and it seems the internet was right (as usual).

You can use Shiratamako to make a variety of mochi treats, but I wanted to make mochi ice cream--and since I was making it myself, I was able to use lactose-free ice cream. These are naturally gluten-free as well, although you should ensure that your shiratamako and potato starch aren't processed in the same place as wheat products if this is an issue for you. Mochi ice cream isn't particularly Japanese, but you get the delicious chewy mochi texture all the same. I adapted a recipe from Just One Cookbook to suit my needs.

To make about 12 mochi, you'll need:
  • 1.5 cups ice cream in your favorite flavor--strawberry and green tea are typical flavors (I only had vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup (about 100 grams) Shiratamako flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Scant 1/4 cup white sugar (depending on how sweet you like your mochi)
  • Approximately 1/2 cup potato starch (you could substitute corn starch if need be) 
And some tools:
  • 1-inch cookie scoop (you could go up to 1.5 and the ratio would still be good)
  • Muffin liners
  • Rolling pin
  • Stiff rubber spatula
  • Thin wire whisk
  • Microwave (1000-1500 watt)
  • Round-ish cutter, 2.5-3 inches in diameter
At least an hour ahead of time, scoop 1-inch hemispheres of ice cream into the muffin liners and put in the back of your freezer until firm.

Combine your shiratamako, sugar, and water in a 2-quart (or larger) microwave-safe bowl, whisking thoroughly. You might have some parts that seem undissolved; everything will come together once you heat it. It should look like slightly gluey pancake batter (how appetizing!).

Cover with plastic wrap (make sure the wrap is well above the food) and microwave on high for 1 minute. Wet the rubber spatula and beat the mixture, folding it back and forth to break up the emerging lump in the middle.

Microwave on high (still covered) for 1 more minute. The mixture should look uniform. Beat with the spatula again, and return to the microwave for 30 more seconds (covered). The mixture should look more translucent than before, and should be very glutinous and sticky. Caution--the mixture will be VERY HOT in the center and it can stick to your hands and burn you, so be very careful with these next steps.
Pie crust thickness!

Cover your work surface with some foil or a cookie sheet, and dust about 1/4 cup of the potato starch over it. Scrape the dough out onto the potato starch and dust a little more over the top and on your rolling pin. Roll the dough out to the thickness of pie crust--about 1/4 to 1/8 inch. Don't worry if you can't get it that thin right away--it's a bit easier as it cools. Stash it in the back of your fridge for 15-20 minutes.

I don't own round cutters, so I used a tartlet pan.

Take the dough out of the fridge and start cutting out your rounds--you'll probably get 6-8 out of your first pass. Then take the scraps and pinch off 1-inch balls of dough. It's easier to roll out these balls individually than to combine the scraps into one mass--too much potato starch will stop it from coming together. Roll out into rounds the same size as your cut rounds.
Give the mochi an ice cream hat!

Working with one ice cream ball at a time, tip it out onto a prepared mochi circle and gather up the dough around it. You can end with the seams on top (like a dumpling) or try to hide them on the bottom.

I think dumpling-style is prettier.
If they're sticky at all, roll your finished mochi in more potato starch. You can return the mochi ice cream to the muffin liner or another container and store in the freezer.

The finished product

1 comment:

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