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.
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.
- 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.