Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made with mochigome, a Japanese short grained glutinous rice. In Japan Mochi is eaten all year round as well as during special occasions. Mochi was presented as a temple offering to the gods. Freshly made Mochi symbolizes long life and well being. The labor intensive process of making Mochi is much simplified these days by using mochiko, a flour made from sweet rice. Mochiko has a chewy texture so potato starch or cornstarch is used to form the shapes to prevent sticking while handling it.
The frozen version of Mochi, ie. stuffed with ice cream was actually created in America, more precisely, in a 4th generation Japanese-American bakery in 1980s Los Angeles run by Frances Hashimoto and her husband, Joel Friedman. In Hashimoto’s bakery Mikawaya, traditional Japanese pastries and desserts were sold. During a trip to Japan, Friedman tried a local confection – a round rice flour cake filled with a sweet bean paste. Back home they came up with the idea of filling the Mochi dough with ice cream instead of the traditional bean paste. After 10 years of perfecting it just right, Mochi ice cream was born. Although at first the flavors catered to the Asian palate, later on other flavors were introduced. Mochi therefore is the ultimate fusion dessert.
The first time I heard about mochi was really in August 2018 after we moved to Minnesota from Atlanta when my sister in law, my husband’s cousin, was visiting us in the summer. She asked me if I had ever had mochi and I replied ‘Never heard of it’. We both went to Trader Joe’s and got a few flavors of Mochi ice cream pretty much the next day. And needless to say, I loved every flavor especially the mango ice cream one. So this is my first attempt at making it. The mochi dough idea of using milk instead of water came from the TikTok video of @jasmineandtea It is a foolproof method and I loved making it. A thin layer of creamy mochi dough stuffed with a ball of mouthwatering homemade mango ice cream is just what you need when you have a sweet craving. They look stunning of course so next time you have guests around, be sure to make them. I know this was a sure hit in my house because my daughter had a couple as soon as they had frozen enough to eat and have her verdict on it!
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 10 mins plus freezing time
YIELDS: Makes 9
- Milk ½ cup
- Sugar ⅓ cup
- Mochiko (sweet rice flour) ½ cup
- Vanilla extract 1 tsp
- Vegetable oil 2 tsp
- Orange gel color a drop (optional)
- Potato starch as needed
- Make the Mango Ice Cream or use store bought.
- Line a mini cupcake pan with cupcake liners (I used silicone liners but parchment works fine too). Use an ice cream scoop to scoop small portions of the ice cream. Put in the lined small cupcake liners. Put in the freezer for a couple of hours till nicely frozen.
- Put milk and sugar in a pan. Bring to a gently heat. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat off.
- Add vanilla extract. Add the gel color. Add mochiko flour. Stir till smooth and till there are no lumps.
- Turn the heat back up. Cook on a low flame till the mixture forms into a dough that comes off the pan.
- Dust a large parchment paper generously with potato starch. Put the mochi dough on the parchment and begin kneading it gently.
- Divide the dough into equal portions.
- Take one portion of the dough and stretch out with your hands. Place one ice cream ball in the middle of the stretched mochi dough and gently cover the ice cream with the dough. Repeat for the rest.
- Freeze the mochi ice cream for a couple of hours. Serve frozen.
Mochi is very sticky so use potato starch, cornstarch, or tapioca flour to prevent sticking.
Any flavor of ice cream can be used for this recipe.
The ice cream melts very fast so take out one at a time from the freezer and pop the one you’re just made back into the freezer as soon as you make it.
To keep the shape of the mochi ice cream more tight and round wrap each of them with cling film and freeze. I honestly didn’t mind the way these spread out a little. It tastes heavenly!
If you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #sarchakra on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured!