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Daifuku Mochi (A Japanese St Patrick’s day)

March 16, 2012

What, you may ask, are Daifuku? I shall tell you:

They are a texture adventure of crunchy, nutty black sesame seeds followed by bouncy, chewy mochi and finishing in smooth, sweet red bean paste. Think of them as adventurous marshmallows.

If you want to get technical: Daifuku Mochi are japanese glutinous rice cakes (mochi) with a sweet filling (usually anko, or red bean paste but there are endless variations). You will often see white, pink, and green versions and sometimes they are rolled in black or normal sesame seeds. The green versions are matcha green tea ones and the pink version just have colouring in them. 

Daifuku Mochi three ways. There is green hiding in there. Honest.

I had forgotten about these little puck-shaped, pocket-sized snacks until I was pondering what I could do for the “something green” We Should Cocoa challenge. I remembered that I had some matcha powder which needed using up, so I set off to one of London’s Japanese Supermarkets (Centre Point Food Store) for inspiration. I was starving when I got there so I grabbed a Daifuku to keep me going, but was a bit annoyed by how expensive it was. Some swift googling on my phone revealed that it’s remarkably simple to make them. As it happened that supermarket didn’t have what I needed, so in the end I got the ingredients from a Vietnamese supermarket in Hackney (Longdan Express) which is much much cheaper and where the staff are lovely.

I made three variations of Daifuku:

L-R dark chocolate and green tea // white chocolate, green tea and sesame// plain with sesame

1.Matcha Green Tea Mochi with red bean paste, coated in dark chocolate with ginger.
2. White Mochi with red bean paste, coated in black sesame seeds
3. Matcha Green Tea Mochi with red bean paste, coated in whilte chocolate and black sesame seeds

The chocolate coated versions add an extra layer of texture based fun, as you crunch through a chocolate shell to reach the chewy inside. The dark chocolate & ginger is great against the green tea and white chocolate works well with sesame seeds.

It's hard to get a clean cut to show the layers and the green inside

Enough of the chatter, let’s get to the good bit.

Daifuk Mochi 

with Green Tea / Dark Chocolate / White Chocolate variations

for the red bean paste:
1 cup of dried aduki beans
3 cups water
sugar to taste

Soak the beans overnight. Put them in a pan with the water and bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until they are soft. The water should have mostly evaporated but if not, turn it up to the boil to get rid of more. Using a stick blender or food processer blend the remaining water and beans to a thick, smooth paste. Add sugar to taste as you do so. Set to one side to cool.

for the mochi:
1 cup of glutinous rice flour
2/3 cup of water
1  1/2 tbs sugar
cornflour for dusting your work surface

optional extras: 
matcha powder
white chocolate
dark chocolate
black sesame seeds

In a microwave-proof bowl mix the rice flour, water and sugar into a very runny paste. If you are making matcha mochi add a sprinkle of matcha powder now. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and pierce. Microwave on medium for 30 seconds. Take it out and check it. If it’s still completely runny, put in for another 30 seconds. It should now be setting on the top. With a spatula (or your hands if you want to get really sticky) mix it all up into a fairly stiff, sticky dough. Dust your worksurface and hands with cornflour and separate into 5 blobs. Roll into balls and then squash them into flat discs. Put a teaspoon of redbean past in the centre of each disc and them seal them using a little water. Roll them back into balls so the paste is hidden inside the white dough and pat down into a puck-shape

If you are coating them in sesame seeds, brush with water to make the surface sticky again and roll the mochi cake in the seeds until it’s covered. Pat back into shape

If you are covering them in white / dark chocolate  put them in the freezer while you melt the chocolate, then take them out and cover them in melted chocolate and maybe sesame seeds too. I love sesame seeds. There should always be sesame seeds.

Moody Mochi shot

You can freeze these, or store in the fridge for a few days

I have inadvertently managed to cover three different challenges and I’m shamelessly shoehorning them in as a St Patrick’s day post since  they’re green.

We Should Coco – Hosted by Chocolate Teapot: Something Green
Frugal Food Fridays – Hosted by me this month.
These cost up to £3 each in shops, but I reckon the ingredients cost that in total and there’s loads left to make more. Hurrah for cost-saving cooking.
Alphabakes – Hosted by Caroline Makes: the letter ‘M’ for Mochi

and I’ve just been told it qualifies for Made With Love too. Hurrah for multitasking recipes

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2012 12:47 pm

    Wow, these are really unusual! I’ve never heard of them before but they do look tasty. Thanks for entering Alphabakes!

  2. March 17, 2012 5:17 pm

    Absolutely brilliant, I am so impressed. I’ve had these, or something very similar from a visiting Japanese friend but had not idea how to make them or even what they were called. They don’t look quite as simple as you stated, but I’d like to give them a go. My matcha creation was much more conventional or if we are talking Japanese, much more unconventional!

  3. March 17, 2012 11:34 pm

    You are one clever lady! These look amazing!!!

  4. March 18, 2012 2:23 pm

    These look delicious and I love the contrasts between the fillings and the coatings. And what a creative way to work green into the We Should Cocoa challenge without using green food dye – love it!

    Thanks for sharing with Made with Love Mondays and I noticed the banner does not seem to be linked back to the challenge – did you encounter problems with using the banner code?

  5. March 18, 2012 2:32 pm

    These look just amazing and well done you for the Multi task entries into FOUR blogging challenges!
    Karen

  6. March 18, 2012 2:33 pm

    @Caroline My pleasure, I’ve been wanting to enter but not had time, so when I realised they fitted the letter I was rather pleased
    .
    @Chocolette If I can make them anyone can. I want to know what you’ve made now!

    @Marie thanks m’dear. How’s Leics? Can I request a how-to on how to make pillowcases out of teatowels on your blog? I had the idea and now have no idea how to go about it!

    @Javelin Warrior Thanks very much – sorry about the link-lackage. Should be fixed now.

  7. March 18, 2012 2:35 pm

    @ Karen It was honestly an unintended but fortuitous turn of events. It’s all a bit hectic round here what with MOVING HOUSE!! (how long can I use that as an excuse for before everyone gets bored?)

  8. March 18, 2012 6:35 pm

    This month’s We Should Cocoa seems to be bringing loads of wonderful new food ideas to the party. What a great recipe. Thanks so much for taking part with these little beauties.

  9. March 18, 2012 10:42 pm

    These look amazing!! I am well impressed that you made everything from scatch – wow!! Thank you so much for entering them to alphabakes.

  10. March 19, 2012 8:55 pm

    Um…so….I’ve eaten them all already! oooops

  11. March 25, 2012 10:08 am

    Adventurous Marshmallows? Brilliant! I’m so impressed with such incredible looking and sounding baking Gill! PS how is the move going?

  12. March 27, 2012 12:04 pm

    I love these! This has been on my list of things to bake my way around the world in eighty bakes and you’ve inspired me to make my own bean paste at home!! 🙂 I got to sample these.in China and Japan and what a treat they are. I love cooking with matcha .too. thanksfor sharing!! X

  13. March 27, 2012 10:27 pm

    @ Kate all moved in. Hurrah. I have arranged and re-arranged the kitchen, which is clearly more important that working out where my NHS card is…

    @ Lauren I am so glad that you have experienced them. I think people are a bit put off at the idea of glutinous rice cakes, but they are so good. The sesame really makes them I think.
    What out for the green tea making the dough more sticky than average.
    I would definitely go for home made red-bean paste. I was rather over excited at how easy it was. Sadly I’m microwave-less at the moment so I either have to man-up and try to make them on the hob or get over the small addiction that I have developed.

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