Sonntag, 26. Januar 2014

Green tea mochi filled with chestnut paste

This evening we will be guests of an japanese aquaintance. I was thinking to bring some home made food as a gift.
So first I decided on mochi but I am not quite sure. Maybe I will bring some home made jam instead. It is like taking owls to athens, you know, maybe she does not like them. at all. She is the expert on japanese food and not me. Anyhow I prepared some and will decide later on.

First I made the mochi: sticky guey stuff, hard to handle...

I prepared a rather unusual filling beforehand yesterday evening:
Instead of bean paste I cooked chestnut paste with chopped caramelized walnuts. I had so many mochis with so many different fillings, I thought to give it a try because I like chestnuts and I have walnuts in storage.

This paste is very delicious, believe it or not, yes it does not look that attractive on first sight.
And this are the finalized mochis:

And this is one cut open, not easy to cut a mochi, better to eat it in one go...

All in all I prepared 8  mochi.

For the filling:

  • 200 g peeled and steamed chestnuts / marrons
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 60 g black sugar (rockhard raw sugar cane molasses)

until the liquids are reduced to an half. Puree the chestnuts with the remaining liquid. Simmer while stirring until the paste forms (soft but firm and it will stick to the pot, therefor scrape the bottom of the pot well or it will burn (think preparing puff pastry dough) - set aside.  I inveted this filling and it is not of japanese origin.

Heat up:
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, 
  • 1 cup roughly crumbled walnuts 
 and stir until the liquid is gone and the caramelized sugar coats the nuts.
Let the nuts cool down a bit and mix with the chestnut paste. I added a small pinch cinnamon.

Let the paste sit in the fridge, covered, over night.

  • 2/3 cup sweet glutenous rice flour
  • nearly 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon green tea powder
Stir ingredients and fill into a glas bowl. Cover bowl with clingfilm and put it in the microwave (900 W, 2 minutes). Stir the hot mochi well, cover again and put it again in the microwave for another 2 minutes.
Transfer the hot mochi in a motar and pound until cooled down to lukewarm. You can stir the mochi with a spatule instead of pounding but this is really hard work and may ruin the spatule and your arm.

With the help of a spatule put mochi on a plate covered with corn starch, form a roll. The mochi is very soft and sticky, but it should feel like an earlobe when touched (it was slightly too soft so I will reduce the water next time in combination with this type of rice flour).

With a teaspoon form small balls out of the chestnut paste.
Cut a slice of the mochi roll, dust your hands with corn flour and form a small palm sized circle, put a chestnut paste ball in the middle and close the mochi around, quickly toss mochi ball into the corn starch and roll it for a bit.

The interesting thing concerning this combination - the chestnut paste is not overwhelming sweet with a fruity and slightly bitter taste: fruity because of the sake and apple juice, bitter the walnuts. This goes well with the green tea flavour.

Update: Decided to bring them along.
I took a cardboard box, cut it in size and glued tissue paper (with a nice carp design) all over, placed the mochi and put the box in a transparent envelope. Hope this will do.



Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Wow, I'm sure the expert on Japanese food will like your mochi!
I wish I could have some, too!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

I will bring them. Sadly she is very polite (very much japanese!!!), so I think she will never tell me her true opinion. I will have to read the air (laugh).

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Not sweet enough for the tongue of an older japanese lady but the japanese cook and his wife (korean) liked them a lot. So I don't know, maybe one should add some more sugar. Black sugar is not as sweet as the common sugar.

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

You were right about making your mochi on the less sweet side. Anyone who prefers them on the sweeter side can simply add some sugar.
Overly sweet confections are reminiscent of old days when sugar was a luxury item.

Sissi hat gesagt…

Kiki, I am impressed not only by the mochi itself but by your present package: it looks for me so perfectly Japanese! I suppose you have surprised your hosts who probably expected a German/European dessert :-) I see they liked it! Congratulations!
I was not a big fan of mochi because all those I tasted were too sweet... then one day I tasted almost unsweetened ones rolled in powdered black sesame seeds... I was in heaven! I wanted to bring them to Switzerland, but the vendor said they would keep soft maximum overnight :-( Next time maybe I will buy them anyway...

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Sissi: I like to make all kinds of packages out of recycling material - guess this is a habit of many mothers :-) The box was once part of a cat-food cardboard box.
As for mochi, try dango. I like them with ground roasted soy beans the most. I don't dare to make them often because I will eat them in one go. Sweetness: the problem is the filling. The poundesd steamed rice cake aka mochi itself is not that sweet. I have to wait until early summer to prepare strawberry daifuku. This is another type of mochi I really adore.

Sissi hat gesagt…

Oh, yes... I know what you mean about not daring to make them often... I feel the same about Korean rice cakes.
I have never tried dango I think (though I saw them so often in Japan). It seems I never have enough time to eat everything I want to taste!