Let’s Make Ice Cream A Finger Food!
In big metropolises like New York and San Francisco, mochi bars are becoming so trendy that even specialty groceries are now carrying them.
Mochi is a very common snack that has been enjoyed by Asians for centuries. Traditionally, mochi snacks are called Daifuku (meaning cakes of great blessings). In Japan these are made of wrappings of sweet and chewy dough made with sweet rice flour, water, and sugar. These are then filled with a sweet red bean paste (or ‘anko’ in Japanese).
Today, there are many creative variations of the tradition, and ice cream is one new filling. Below is a recipe for Green Tea Mochi with Ice Cream. I have included in the photograph some alternative mochi made with favorite American snacks.
Green Tea Mochi Dough Ingredients:
1 cup glutinous or sweet rice flour (I used Mochiko from California’s Koda Farm)
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup room temperature water
3 tsp. Buckhead Tea Company matcha powder (or a food flavoring according to taste and one drop of food coloring)
½ cup corn starch for handling the sticky dough
How to make Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream Cakes:
1. Scoop out 8 half-balls of your favorite ice cream and place each in a paper baking cup. Return these to the freezer.
2. In a large bowl, combine sweet rice flour and matcha powder. Gradually add water. Mix well with a spatula until the mixture is smooth and without lumps.
3. Place mixture in the microwave oven at 700 watts for 2 ½ minutes.
4. Remove from the microwave oven and stir well. Return mixture to the microwave oven and cook for another 40 seconds.
5. Carefully remove the cooked dough (it is VERY HOT—keep small children away at this stage) and blend in one-third of the granulated sugar at a time.
6. Spread a piece of parchment paper (for easy cleaning!) 30 inches long on a work surface. Dust generously with corn starch or potato starch.
7. Scoop the silky and somewhat translucent dough onto the parchment paper. Dust the top of the dough with corn starch and gently roll the dough into a thin layer about 6 x 24 inches in size. Add corn starch when necessary to prevent sticking.
8. Divide the dough sheet into eight squares, brushing off excess corn starch. Place each square between plastic food wrap squares, covering the whole pile with more plastic food wrap and let cool to handling temperature.
9. Take a square, including the plastic wrap, and place it snugly into a cup of a muffin pan.
10. Place a half-ball of ice cream, round side down, and carefully pull the edges of the dough in and seal the contents nicely by pinching the edges where they meet. Pinch tightly and trim off excess.
11. Take the ball out of the muffin pan and twist the plastic wrap at the gathering, shaping the cake at the same time.
12. Return the mochi to the muffin pan cup flat side down, and return the mochi to freezer until ready to serve. Work fast enough so that the ice cream does not melt.
13. Voila, ice cream becomes finger food!
One of my childhood memories was watching my mother roll out banana flavored dough to make mochi rolls. She used simple toppings like crushed roasted peanuts, shredded coconut and granulated sugar on a flat piece of dough and made jellyroll-like mochi cakes.
I always hoped to be lucky enough to get a morsel of the trim prior to the real snack time. Today, I tried spreading my friend Kathy’s farm-fresh North Carolina blackberry jam on the dough and the resulting rolls were amazing. I think fresh strawberries, pitted cherries, and other non-traditional fillings, would be delicious.
Have fun making ice cream finger snacks!