Mysterious little packages with ice cream centers – I just had know how they were made! #53: Strawberry Ice Cream Mochi
Okay, spoiler alert: there is no witchcraft involved in getting the ice cream inside the layer mochi. Just a little regular kitchen magic was required (ahem, microwaves.) Does anyone else say the “don’t put metal in the science oven” line from American Hustle every time they go to use the microwave? Ah well, maybe just me.
Mochi is a non-baked dough made from Japanese glutinous rice flour mixed with sugar and water, and steamed until fused together into a ball. It’s extremely sticky and took copious amounts of corn starch to keep it from sticking to everything that got near it. There’s also a baked version of mochi, that’s enriched with eggs, milk and butter. It’s super good, but not the right consistency to wrap around ice cream scoops successfully.
First things first: prep the ice cream! Since it melts so quickly, it’s easier to pre-scoop and re-freeze the ice cream in it’s new shape, as opposed to scooping as you’re wrapping them. Unless you are currently in the “bomb cyclone” ice storm that’s hitting the East Coast right now – it might be cold enough there. I stored mine in mini muffin papers in the fridge so they’d hold their shape while re-freezing.
After consulting a few recipes, I went with shiratamako rice flour. It is coarser than Mochiko, the most commonly found brand in the Bay Area. The difference in texture helps to keep the mochi dough less dense and more workable. I got mine from Tokyo Central and it arrived in less than a week!
It amazes me that the dough is only rice flour, sugar and water. I almost feel like without the sugar, you’d have a great start for goo. Add some glitter and food dye and off you go!
Before and after the microwave sauna. Chemistry is bizarre.
Mochi dough: the albino version of Flubber.
One of the main themes in the recipes I read through is the importance of getting the mochi thin thin thin! Otherwise, you’re stuck with a frozen lump of sweet chewiness.
This set of round cutters has proved to be one of the most useful kitchen tools, ever. I chose the 3.5 inch one for this bake, so it would cover the ice cream scoop without any leakage.
Felt a tad bit wasteful with all of the plastic wrap layers . . . but there really wasn’t another way to wrap them and have them keep their shape while re-freezing. I cut the plastic wrap into quarters so as to use as little as possible for each one. On the right are my two stacks of mochi rounds, ready for action.
I attempted to use two different flavors: strawberry ice cream and chocolate peanut butter gelato. The gelato had other plans, however. It wouldn’t hold it’s shape long enough to be wrapped once it came out of the freezer (too creamy, I suppose.) Cest la vie, I’ll just have to eat it straight.
IT’S SO CUTE.
Back into the freezer they go! Here’s hoping you have more freezer space than I do.
It is generally suggested that you leave them out of the freezer for a minute or two before eating. Brain freezes are not fun. But ice cream on a cold day is weirdly satisfying.
Wouldn’t it be fun to dye the mochi a different color for each flavor? You can also keep it a mystery and have your friends guess what the flavors are. Endless possibilities. Happy munching!
Recipe mostly from: https://www.justonecookbook.com/mochi-ice-cream/