Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mochi monsters: Cookies and cream mochi snowballs


Let's defy social conventions...well, nothing too radical - it's just ice cream in March for heaven's sake. It's cold and miserable out there, but there are glimmers and afternoons of sunshine and Spring which can only put a smile on our faces. That, for me, is more than enough of a sign to capitalise on a supermarket ice cream deal.
Hong Kong has the most wonderful flavours when it comes to frozen yoghurts and ice creams - and while they don't have the prestige of a creamy and luxurious Italian gelato, they do take inspiration from neighbouring countries to host a variety of creative concoctions. Mochi being one of them.
I can't claim this as a Hong Kong recipe. Mochi ice cream hails from Japan, but it holds a dear and distant memory of hot and sticky summers in Hong Kong. Back in a dinky old apartment building in North Point where my grandparents lived, I specifically remember being stuck in an uneasy lift with my grandma after a trip to the market. We were there for a good hour, but I specifically remember being consoled by two little snowball dumplings of mochi ice cream. A little toothpick in the packet to pick it up with, the time seemed to fly by as I tried to make the ice cream last as long as possible.

Mochi is a sticky, translucent dough made from glutinous rice flour - almost like an Asian version of Turkish Delight in texture. On its own its not much to behold, however paired with some ice cream...it's bliss. I found that London are starting to embrace it, with Snog frozen yoghurt branches offering little mochi cubes as a topping for their delicious Snog yoghurts. Simple to make ahead and keep in your fridge as a mini dessert or sweet treat after work or dinner it's definitely worth trying out. Tips here are to make sure you have a lot of cornflour on hand, as the mixture is extremely sticky (but manageable with corn flour) and try to have cold hands and work quickly. (see my instagram page @loloslittlekitchen to look at a video of the speed you need and how to wrap the mochi)

Ingredients
100 grams of glutinous rice flour (it has to be glutinous, you can't substitute this. Easy to find in Thai or oriental supermarkets)
60 grams of caster sugar
180ml water
A good few handfuls of cornflour, in a bowl
170 grams of ice cream of your choice. (I've used Haagen Dazs cookies and cream)

Bring the ice cream out of the freezer to soften. After about 10 minutes, spoon out 17grams (or a roughly heaped spoonful) onto the middle of a little square of clingfilm. Gathering up the clingfilm from all sides twist then ends into a little round ball shape. Place in the freezer and repeat until you have 10 neat little balls.

In a microwaveable bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and water until everything is mixed in together. Cover the top with cling film and heat on high for 2 minutes. Remove carefully (there will be a lot of steam when you remove the clingfilm) and mix vigorously.
Cover and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave again. Mix and repeat for 30 seconds. The mixture by now should be a milky translucent colour.

On a large flat surface, lay down some clingfilm (enough space for you to roll out the mochi mixture) and generously spread a handful of cornflour on the table (and some for your rolling pin). Place the mixture out onto the surface (use cornflour on your fingers to help scrape the mix off your spatula) and roll out to the thickness of a pound coin. Leave the mix to cool with a layer of cornflour dusted on the top.

Once cooled, cut out 10 circles (I used a small glass) about 6cm in diameter. Take on of your ice cream balls out the freezer - warm very slightly in your hands for a few seconds, trying to mould into as circular a shape as possible, and remove the clingfilm. Place the ice cream in the middle of the mochi circle and use both hands to bring all the edges to the middle. Pinch and twist the middle and place the mochi back in the clingfilm (dust with a little more cornflour) smooth side down. Gather the sides of the clingfilm again and twist the ends to hold the mochi in tightly. Place smooth side up in the freezer and repeat with the other balls of ice cream.

When you want to serve this, bring them out and wait (if you can) 10 minutes for the mochi to become a soft enough to gobble up.

2 comments:

  1. I had mochi for the first time recently and LOVED it! I will have to look for the glutinous rice flour!

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    1. Isn't it amazing? Such a different and amazing texture, I'm glad you've tried it- let me know how it goes if you make it! Yummers.

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