Happy New Year! We spent a very relaxing and quiet week off before New Year’s day. It was nice to “slow down” a bit and not on a schedule to do something or get something done. We usually make the trek home to Hawaii for the holidays, but with a very active-terrible two I don’t know about a 5 hour plane ride-son and the rising cost of airfare decided to stay back home in California. Plus it was a blessing in disguise considering we needed this time to relax and gear up for the coming year and it was our first Christmas/New Year’s in our new home. So in all, it was NICE! But at 11:00 PM the day before Monday and work, I am thinking how terribly hard it is going to be at work tomorrow. Good thing I had some mochi!
I won’t even try to give you a history of mochi considering I only know that it is good luck to make and eat for the New Year. And my knowledge is even more limited on the different types of mochi. But I can tell you that I made some Chi Chi Dango Mochi and it came out fabulous! I feel pretty accomplished considering it was tri-colored mochi: pink, white, and green. Regarding the colors, I believe these are lucky colors.
My hubby/personal photographer has been on a hiatus, but I lured him back into taking a few pics this time around with promises of freshly made mochi for payment.
The recipe for this tri-colored mochi comes from “Hawaii’s Best Local Desserts” which features many other local desserts such as Pumpkin Crunch, Okinawan Sweet Potato Pie, and another favorite mochi in Hawaii Coconut Custard Mochi.
1 pound mochiko (16 oz box)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 can coconut milk (12 oz)
2 cups water (use 1/2 – 1/4 cups less water for firmer mochi)
1 tsp vanilla
food coloring or gel food coloring, red/pink and green
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixing bowl, combine mochiko, sugar, and baking powder. In another bowl mix together the water, coconut milk, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients slowly mixing thoroughly with a whisk or stand mixer.
Remove 2 cups of the mixture and add 3 drops green food coloring or some green gel food coloring. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Measure out 2 cups of the white mixture and pour over first green layer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Add 3 drops of red food coloring or some pink gel food coloring to remaining mixture and pour over the white second layer. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Here are some pictures of the mixture along with each layered step.
1st layer green and 2nd layer white
2nd layer white and 3rd layer pink
Once out of the oven, remove foil, cover with a clean dish towel, and cool overnight. Cut cooled mochi with a plastic knife.
Here are a few tips and tricks:
The can of coconut milk I had was around 13.5 oz, which is a little more than what the recipe called for. I have a kitchen scale so I was able to weigh out 12 oz. If you do not have a scale, I am sure you can add less water to accommodate the extra coconut milk.
The original recipe calls for 2 cups of water with a note indicating to use 1/2 – 1/4 cups less water for firmer mochi. In these pictures, I did use 1/4 cup less water and the mochi was firmer. I personally liked the firmer texture, but my hubby didn’t. I made another batch with the full 2 cups of water. It was much softer and sticky when I cut into it! So the amount of water really depends on your preference.
Surprisingly I don’t have any liquid food coloring. So I used my gel food coloring that I usually have on hand to tint buttercream. This turned out very well with vibrant colors that didn’t fade after baking.
Cool overnight! I know you will be tempted to eat it, but this will result in a better texture and flavor. Not to mention easier to cut.
CUT MOCHI WITH A PLASTIC KNIFE! Using anything other will be a disaster. Mochi is usually cut into rectangular pieces.
You can dust the mochi with potato starch or katakuriko, or kinako which is a soybean powder.
You can store the mochi in an air tight container, or I do what my mother-in-law does and cut little squares of wax or parchment paper and roll each rectangle piece individually. It will keep it fresh longer and great portion control!
I am not sure if this makes a difference, but I baked the mochi in a glass baking dish.
Here are a few shots before I dusted them with katakuriko:
Here are some pics after a light dusting of katakuriko:
All the best for 2011 and here’s to a happy and prosperous year!